Plastic bearings: 6 reasons to choose them over metal bearings

The idea of using plastic bearings may sound strange or perhaps even a little crazy to those who are used to relying on metal – the more traditional choice. However, more and more engineers are coming around to the idea of plastic, which in many ways can actually perform more efficiently than its metal counterpart.

Here are six compelling reasons to try plastic bearings for your next project.

6 advantages of using plastic bearings instead of metal

1. They cost less

Most types of plastic are significantly cheaper than metal and can save you as much as 25% on the cost of bearings. Plus, plastic is far less appealing to criminals who may attempt to steal metal bearings.

2. They’re more eco-friendly to produce

Generally speaking, it takes far less fuel to manufacture plastic bearings than it does to produce the metal variety. On average, only 10 to 15% of the fuel used to produce metal bearings is needed to produce plastic.

3. They don’t require lubrication

Plastic bearings are actually self-lubricating. How? Simple: from the moment they start moving, microscopic bits of the bearing abrade and begin to work as a lubricant within the component. This abrasion has no impact on the mechanics of the bearing, and in fact helps to reduce start-up delays and keep the area clean. This is of particular benefit in food production industries, where there are strict laws around the use of lubricants in machinery that handles edibles.

Lastly, while oily, greasy lubricants tends to attract grime and lead to messy and damaging dirt build-ups, the lack of lubricant used in plastic bearings means there’s no build-up and therefore no chance of damage.

4. They can withstand extreme temperatures

Plastic bearings can operate continuously at any temperature from well below zero to up to 260 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, they can tolerate extreme heat of up to 315 degrees Celsius.

5. They’re highly durable

Because the walls of plastic bearings are thinner than the walls of the metal variety, they conduct heat better. This means less wear-and-tear on the components, as well as wider operating range. In applications where weight is a consideration, this is a great boon as the walls are less likely to wear, buckle or otherwise deteriorate.

6. They don’t require maintenance

Unlike metal, plastic doesn’t rust over time, which means there’s little to no maintenance required on the parts. Add to this the fact that plastic bearings will never freeze in place due to corrosion (and therefore never need to be cut away), and you in fact have three more compelling reasons to choose plastic: convenience, durability and cost-savings!

7. They’re resistant to chemicals

Metal bearings can be susceptible to damage as a result of coming into contact with various chemical and substances. Plastic, however, is far more resistant. This means that plastic bearings offer continued smooth and reliable operation, as they are able to maintain a low coefficient of friction and move smoothly with a minimum of interference.

Find quality plastic components at competitive prices

Ready to switch to lighter, longer-lasting, more efficient plastic? It’s easy. Chat to us at Plastinternational about your specific project requirements, and we’ll help you identify the right components to get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively.

Get in touch with us to find out more about our wide range and competitive pricing, or check out our custom plastic products online.

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