Why A Plastics Manufacturer Designed A Metal Component

September 8, 2020 Peter Hughes

This year, we presented a large number of new products online from our virtual trade show booth at our headquarters in Cologne, Germany. One of those products is a rod end designed with metal housing, a plastic inner ring, and a metal spherical ball. You may be thinking, why would a company that manufactures plastic components release a product made of mostly metal? We have our reasons. Read on to learn more.      

“Rod End 2.0” 

In most cases, our high-performance, self-lubricating igubal® plastic rod ends are strong enough to meet our customers’ requirements. igubal® is lightweight, corrosion resistant, maintenance-free and can withstand high loads; however, more and more customers began coming to us with applications that required an even higher load capacity.

For example, a customer recently needed rod ends for fitness equipment that could withstand loads of up to 8 kN. A joint head with plastic housing cannot do this, but the customer still wanted a workable solution with the same advantages as our plastic rod ends. So, we developed igubal® KARM, or what we like to call "rod end 2.0".

igus® Technology Hidden in the Inner Ring

At first glance, igubal® KARM looks like a conventional metal rod end. However, there is a small but significant difference. It has a self-lubricating polymer ring between the housing and spherical cap, offering you the advantage of maintenance-free operation in high-load applications, such as agricultural technology or construction machinery.

This joint head is designed with metal housing that offers a breaking strength significantly higher than that of plastic housing. There is an inner ring made of iglide® J, a wear-resistant polymer with low moisture absorption and a low coefficient of friction, as well as a stainless steel dome.

We plan to develop new designs in the future, such as rod ends with aluminum or stainless steel housing or an inner ring that is suitable for high temperatures or food contact. Send us your requirements so we can design the right rod end for your application.

Visit our webpage to learn more about igubal® rod ends, or contact an igus® expert today. 

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