The polymer bearing company igus®, based in Northampton, illustrates just how robust "iglidur®" plastic plain bearings are using a real Bollywood film as an example. In Bangalore and many other Indian cities motorised taxi rickshaws are fitted with the company's lubricant-free polymer bearings. These are used as main hub bearings on the anti-dive device as well as at other bearing points.
The three-wheeled vehicles have a special mechanism that keeps the vehicle stable during braking. This anti-dive device is a connection mechanism with four rods. The main hub at this connection is guided by an iglidur® RN56 self-lubricating bearing. The load on the bearing is the load of the vehicle plus the weight of the passengers and the inertia forces, making around three tonnes in total, with a pivoting motion.
Lubricant-free through the streets of Bangalore
Previously, a bronze bushing with lubrication grooves and punched holes with graphite filling at the edge were being used. The drivers reported that lubrication regularly failed, which meant the bearings wore out quickly and the clearance increased. Other problems prevalent were loud noises, heavy juddering of the handlebars or even tipping of the rickshaw during braking. igus® developed a comprehensive new concept to solve this problem, both in terms of the wear parameters and a lubricant-free solution for use on dirty and uneven streets. Comfort for both the driver and the passengers have been significantly improved at the same time.
The loads that the wear resistant plastic plain bearings withstand day in, day out, can be seen in two webcasts on the internet at www.igus.eu/rickshaw.
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