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Designing a True Maintenance-Free Pivot

Tech Talks by igus helping solve design engineering problems with motion plastics

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Learn more at Designing a by Nick Van Tol Industry Manager, Agriculture & Construction, igus ® Inc. True Maintenance-Free Pivot Engineers working in the agricultural industry can benefit greatly from implementing true maintenance-free pivots within their machinery. Maintenance-free pivots have several benefits that can help significantly increase efficiency within the agricultural field. Here, we will compare true maintenance-free designs with alternative designs, as well as go into the requirements for creating a true maintenance-free pivot. Legacy Designs Unlike true maintenance-free designs, legacy designs require substantial downtime. Thus, legacy designs aren't typically considered ideal. Legacy designs are composed of: •Metallic bushing with grease grooves •Steel housing with grease zerks •Steel pin, sometimes hardened depending on the Disadvantages: a. Continuous maintenance (sometimes daily) for the end user b. The cost of grease and replacement parts if not performed regularly is very expensive, i.e.: the pin, bushing, or housing c. External lubrication is required, which attracts dirt and debris from the surrounding environment and creates a sand paper effect on the bushing and pin Traditional Maintenance-Free Designs Traditional maintenance-free designs are a better alternative than legacy designs, but they are not as effective as true maintenance-free designs. The traditional maintenance-free design is not a true maintenance-free design because only one critical aspect of a maintenance-free pivot, the bushing, is utilized. Traditional maintenance-free designs are composed of: •Dry running, self-lubricating bushing, i.e.: igus ® iglide ® (polymer), rolled metallic with Teflon lining, or fiber wound •Steel housing without grease zerk •Steel pin, sometimes hardened depending on the application, as well as a thin layer of a corrosion inhibiting substance (zinc, nickel or hard chrome) Walking tandem pivot on a cultivator application

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