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Rulon Bearings: A Review of Common Formulas

Posted by Dave Biering

Apr 17, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Rulon 641 is FDA-cleared for use in food and pharmaceutical applicationsRulon® is one of the materials that we are asked about most often.  While there are over 300 unique formulas of this material, today we’ll review some of the most-common formulas.  No matter which formula your application requires, you should expect a versatile, self-lubricating, and low-friction material for bearings, seals, gaskets and structural components. 

There are literally hundreds of variations of Rulon, but in our experience, the most popular are Rulon® 641, Rulon® J, and Rulon® LR.   Each offers slightly different attributes, yet all have delivered superior results to our clients.

For more details and technical specs on the materials below, our Rulon Comparison Chart is a great resource!

Rulon 641

FDA-cleared for use in food and pharmaceutical applications, Rulon 641 is an excellent material for seals in pumps and valves.  It is able to withstand the sanitation washdowns required of food and drug processing. 

Rulon J

Provides the lowest coefficient of friction of any filled-PTFE bearing compound.  It also offers good wear properties against soft mating materials.

Rulon LR

The most-commonly used material for general purpose applications.  It is chemically inert and with excellent dielectric properties, maroon in color.

Have you downloaded your free copy of our Rulon White Paper?   It provides a quick review of the top manufacturing controls to embrace ― and the pitfalls to avoid ― when selecting true Rulon materials for your next application.

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Topics: Rulon J, Rulon Materials, Self-Lubricating Bearings, Rulon 641, Rulon LR

When is it time to replace bearings?

Posted by Dave Biering

Apr 15, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Aluminum can production line.How one manufacturer saved $30K with self-lubricating plastic bearings

When is the right time to replace bearings?  This question really has no straightforward answer; there are simply too many variables to account for.  Operating conditions, working temperature, weather exposure, and friction levels all contribute to bearing longevity. But in the debate over metal vs. plastic bearings, there’s no doubt about the advantages of self-lubricating plastics.  Plastic bearings have a significantly longer lifespan and require zero maintenance.  Here’s how one beverage processor saved $30,000 in replacement costs with self-lubricating plastic bearings:

A major producer of aluminum cans approached us when their production line was continually halted so maintenance crews could manually grease and service the metal linear bearings located on their positioning tables.  Each table held four bearings that were difficult to access, yet required regular greasing.  Each time one of the metal bearings failed, the production line came to a halt while the faulty component was replaced.  Between down production time plus the expense of the replacement bearings, costs quickly escalated across the production line. 

By switching to self-lubricating FCJ bearings, our client has completely eliminated the need for manual greasing and frequent work interruptions.  Production has increased, and the subsequent savings in materials, labor and maintenance has totaled over $30,000 in the first year alone.  Our technical brief covers all of the details of this beverage processing application.

How often do you need to replace your industrial bearings?  Here are 5 Common Signs of Bearing Failure to help you evaluate.  Or let our In-house Experts review the advantages with you directly!

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Topics: Food, Bearing Failure, Self-Lubricating Bearings

Ask the Expert: Finding the Right Automotive Bearing

Posted by Dave Biering

Mar 25, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Finding the Right Automotive BearingQ: We supply gear and strut components to auto manufacturers and need a versatile bearing for high-speed reciprocating and rotary applications. Durability, performance and price are all key factors. Any recommendations? 

A: Your best bet is a material with stainless steel substrates ― and TriStar is the only plastics company to manufacture them. A reinforced bearing material will protect your machinery in the rare instance of a shell breakthrough. You may consider…

TriSteel bearings, which excel in shock absorbers, piston rods and pump, gear and compressor applications. TriSteel P4 bearings are one of our newer materials, and initial stroke tests confirm fiction coefficients as low as 0.04 dynamically and the same statically.   With the P4, running frictions are constant, and stick/slip is a non-issue to give smoother running operation. 

TriSteel is ideal for applications with extreme side loads and load variables, and critical temperature requirements. Common heavy-duty applications include:

  • Automotive shocks
  • Motorcycle struts
  • Micro-compressors
  • Hydraulic gear pumps
  • Refrigeration compressors
  • Stamping machines

Want to explore TriSteel bearings for use in a rail application?  Here’s your free copy of our Railcar Manufacturing White Paper. Or if you would like a custom consultation on reinforced bearings, just Ask the Experts!

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Topics: Automotive, Railroad, TriSteel Bearings, Self-Lubricating Bearings

Q&A - Rulon Bearings Excel in Oil Industry Applications

Posted by Dave Biering

Mar 18, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Rulon Bearings Excel in Oil Industry ApplicationsWe’ve received many comments on our recent technical brief about the use of Rulon® bearings in oil hydrofracking. We were also asked the following question:

How do Rulon bearings compare to carbon and glass-filled bearings in the oil and gas industry?

The short answer is that Rulon outperforms standard bearings in extreme oil and gas applications ― they are even located on the slide pads of the Alaskan pipeline.  And one formula, Rulon 945, has extended the bearing lifespan in non-lubricated compressors from 3-4 months to 2-3 years.

Here’s how:

With wear properties similar to bronze, powdered metal and steel ― but without the expense related to regular greasing― Rulon outshines other materials:

  • Strong and durable – Rulon is rigid enough to support heavy loads, but compliant enough to tolerate moderate shaft misalignment
  • Design flexibility - Rulon is an excellent bearing and seal material for applications with temperature extremes of 400°F to over 500°F 
  • Moisture resistant - suitable for use in steam, wet, dry, or vacuum environments
  • Low friction – to reduce wear on mating hardware, Rc 35 or higher steel mating surface
  • Low maintenance –  no greasing means no need to incur the expense and labor of manual lubrication
  • Eliminates stick/slip – Rulon resists erratic-low speed motions common to oil industry applications

Get your free copy of our Rulon technical white paper for more details on the Rulon advantage!

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Topics: Rulon, Oil & Gas, Self-Lubricating Bearings

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