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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

TriStar is the exclusive partner of Saint Gobain for Rulon materials in North America. 

Materials and Fabrication

Our capabilities include component design, material selection, prototype, production, and manufacturing.

Materials Database

Use our interactive database to search for and compare over 450 materials.

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Surface Modification

Learn how our Enhanced Materials Divison (EMD) modifies existing materials to meet specific needs.

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Industries

Since 1982 we have been combining the skills of TriStar’s engineering team, our extensive product line, and our deep understanding of a broad range of industries to bring you solutions to your most challenging engineering needs.

Problems / Solutions

Explore the common causes of bearing failure and learn how advanced polymer and composite bearings can address them.

Application Case Studies

Enhanced Materials Division (EMD)

EMD  positions TriStar Plastics as the leading resource to solve your demanding engineering material challenges.

Enhanced Materials Division (EMD)

Actions

View our library of engineering worksheets — the quickest way to communicate your project specs — or reach out to our engineering team.

Tools

Here are a few of our most popular online engineering tools - including our PV calc and material database (450+ materials).

Quality

Learn about our quality program and view our current ISO cert.

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Technical Library

Our collection of case studies, product specs, brochures and other key technical documents.

Free White Papers

Our library of free-to-download white papers focus on industry-based solutions, specific materials, bearing design, and more...

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Deep Dives

These pillar pages provide in-depth information on bearings and problem/solutions for specific industires.

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More Resources

Our popular resources, including our monthly newsletters, blog, and our video library.

Education Overview

About Us

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

Employment

We're dedicated to building a company where opportunities exist for talented people to achieve their maximum potential.

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Contact Us

Go here to request a quote or for general questions (document requests, billing inquiries, etc.).

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Ask the Expert

Have a material or application question for our engineering team? Want to send us a file for review? Go here.

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Volume 20 - Issue 3
FCJ Bearings a Ray of Sunshine in Solar Panel Arrays

FCJ Bearings a Ray of Sunshine in Solar Panel Arrays

 

Solar panels are here to stay — though some naysayers believe they won’t ever produce the kind of energy levels needed to make a difference. But with state and federal mandates and incentives to go green, the technology of solar energy is changing rapidly to meet new demands. From stationary roof top panels to massive solar fields in the southwest deserts, the sun is changing the way we keep our homes cool and our factories running.

FCJ composite-wound bearings

Soft HDPE Material Resulted in Compressed Bearings – and Equipment Failure

A large solar array manufacturer contacted TriStar about a design flaw in their tracking systems. They had originally designed very simple, low-cost HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) sleeve bushings to support 48” x 72” panels that followed the sun as it passed from east to west. Each panel weighs approximately 400 lbs on the steel frame, and that load on the HDPE was compressing the bushing.

Another problem was that HDPE has a very high thermal expansion rate and tolerances started sloppy and just got worse from daily wear. It became a maintenance nightmare and warranty claims were high.

FCJ Composite Bearings Handle Extreme Loads – and Keep the Tracking Arrays Moving

TriStar’s engineering solution was our FCJ bearing — a filament-wound, high-load bearing with a very low friction liner. Unlike the HDPE, the FCJ can handle extreme loads without deformation. While HDPE has a compressive strength of 1500-2000 psi, FCJ’s strength is over 20,000 psi, dynamically.

FCJ is thermally stable with a CoTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) about the same as the surrounding metal housing. FCJ’s do not absorb moisture, are UV stable, self-lubricating and will not corrode in harsh environments. They are also made in the USA.

While the initial cost for the FCJ is considerably higher, our customer found in a cost/benefit study that it could all but eliminate warranty claims and give their customers several years of maintenance-free performance, versus several months with HDPE.

TriStar Can be Your Engineering Partner - From Prototype to Production

At TriStar, our engineers excel in finding the most cost-effective solution for tricky bearing challenges, bringing decades of combined experience to the table. We invite you to check out the many applications highlighted in our technical library and encourage you to reach out with any specific technical questions you may have.

Do you have a question for our experts?

6 Reasons to Choose Filament Wound Composite Bearings

Bearing Design White Paper

CJ Bearings Brochure