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Bearing Materials

TriStar offers a wide range of bearing materials that are ideal for non-lubricated, high-load applications.

Saint Gobain Materials

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TriStar Plastics Corp. provides engineering, custom fabrication and manufacturing of high-performance plastics and self-lubricating bearing materials. 


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Volume 18 - Issue 4
Rulon® Brings Top Sound/Vibration Dampening to High End Audio

Rulon® Brings Top Sound/Vibration Dampening to High End Audio


In the world of high-end audio, the quest for perfect sound is serious business. No effort (or expense) is spared to create the best possible conditions for sound that is unencumbered by the dual threats of unwanted noise and vibration! One of our customers has recently been using Rulon 142 (for which TriStar Plastics is the exclusive North American distributor) to lead the charge in combating these barriers to audio nirvana.

Rulon 142 – A Quick History

Rulon 142

Rulon 142 is a material developed almost 30 years ago as a linear bearing surface for machine tool slideways. It has been used by both OEM’s and aftermarket machine tool rebuilders as a cost-effective insurance policy against lubrication failure. When lubrication failed in the slideways, Rulon 142 was there to prevent a potentially-catastrophic metal-on-metal situation from occurring.

One of the issues experienced by some machine builders was unexpected harmonics caused when the industry changed to metal ball slides attached to the X-Y-Z tables. Rulon 142 turned out to be the perfect material to combat this.

With this information, TriStar had an acoustics lab test metal-only slides against Rulon 142 and found the material also had excellent vibration dampening properties.

Next, Applying this Knowledge to Audiophile Equipment

Fast forward to 2018 when a manufacturer of very high-end sound systems was looking for a thin material that could be used as a sound and vibration dampening material to apply between equipment platforms in multi-level audio racks. Using that data acquired when evaluating Rulon 142 in machine tool applications, it was apparent that Rulon 142 was able to meet the requirements for this application.

The Rulon 142 is formed into an insert pad which is placed between the levels of the audio rack. The superior isolation characteristics of the material significantly reduce the amount of harmonic noise and vibration that is transferred to the shelf surface – which results in super clean audio – the holy grail for our customer’s discerning clientele!

... And the Benefits Keep Coming

In addition to its excellent vibration and sound dampening properties, here are a few of the additional benefits that Rulon 142 brings to the table:

  • Superior mechanical strength
  • Good dimensional stability
  • Elimination of stick/slip
  • Uniform friction
  • High-thermal dissipation
  • Good stability

Check out our detailed blog post to learn more about the history and properties of Rulon 142 or download our Rulon Materials White Paper. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to our engineers if you have any questions.

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