If you’re familiar with igus®, then you probably already know that we engineer and manufacture grease-free plastic bearings and linear slides for use in various automotive applications, including seats, hinges, foot pedals, windshield wipers and convertible tops. But one crucial element that we don’t talk about enough is our ability to work with car manufacturers from concept to finished product thanks to our PPAP quality control team. Here, we’ll discuss that a little bit more in detail and get into other products as well as advantages you should know about our high-performance plastics.
1. Yes, we can PPAP car parts
Our experienced quality control team based at our headquarters in Cologne, Germany regularly performs PPAP levels 1-5 for automotive manufacturers. It’s important to note that we injection mold our components and create each polymer material using the exact same “recipe” every time. This cuts back on part variability and increases the chance of a successful PPAP and/or revalidation in the years to come.
2. Maintenance-free dryspin® lead screws don’t need grease either
Our dryspin® lead screws and nuts, now competitively priced for the industry, are ideal for actuating automotive applications like windows, seats and air dams.
We use our iglide® materials - which are tribologically-optimized polymer blends that consist of base materials for wear resistance, reinforcing fibers for high forces, and solid lubricants that eliminate the need for external grease - to create the nuts. These self-lubricating components resists dirt and corrosion and are maintenance-free.
We offer conventional trapezoidal and ACME lead screws as well as a proprietary dryspin® high helix lead screw with a flatter thread angle to optimize efficiency. For example, the base efficiency of a trapezoidal 10x3 lead screw is 27 percent compared to dryspin’s® 35 percent.
No shocker here to say that plastic is lighter than metal and that opting for lighter components helps reduce costs and increase fuel efficiency.
Additionally, cutting back on squeaking, rattling and other noises, especially in BEVs, allows drivers and passengers to have more comfortable rides with less distractions. Below, is an example of how the sound from our plastic linear bearings compares to a metal.
4. Yes, we offer low-fogging plastic materials
Engineers ask us about our low-fogging options frequently. We offer various polymer materials that adhere to the following requirements:
The results of those bearing tests are stored in an online database which powers our service life calculation tools. They’re free and easy to use, typically requiring just a few steps to input your requirements and instantly see how many hours a particular material or product is expected to last in your application.
If you’re looking for a functional prototype, we can 3D print lead screw nuts and spindles at our North American headquarters in East Providence, Rhode Island. We use our SLS printers and engineered plastic materials to create low-friction, durable parts that are three times more wear-resistant than standard printed parts.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your automotive application, contact an igus® expert here or call us at (800) 521-2747. You can also visit The Engineer's Toolbox to read and watch more content on our engineered plastic components, including plastic plain bearings, linear bearings, lead screw assemblies and more.