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iglidur I180 sliding plates in floating mowing machines

Costs for wear-resistant parts reduced fifteenfold when they are 3D printed from high-performance polymers

This floating mower uses iglidur sliding elements for its cutting blade

Floating mowers are used on the shores of lakes and ponds to free them from fast-growing grasses. Metallic sliding elements are used to clamp and guide the cutting blades on such machines. This entails great wear and maintenance costs for the carrier, so a search was made for a more durable solution that could also cut costs. Today, special sliders made of iglidur I180 ensure the robustness and lubrication-free operation necessary in wet environments, even under intensive use.

Profile

  • What was needed: 3D printed slider made of iglidur I180
  • Requirements: the machine is constantly used in wet environments with a great deal of dirt and sand, so the sliders must be resistant to wear and temperature changes
  • Industry:agricultural machine construction
  • Customer success: one-fifteenth the cost of sliders made of metal; fast delivery for frequently required replacement parts

Floating mowing machines

Problem

Mass Portal, a Riga-based company, manufactures innovative 3D printed solutions for various areas of application. This project involved the search for a solution to reduce maintenance costs for floating mowing machines. Mowing machines clear lakeshores of fast-growing grasses so that they can be used for swimming and water sport. 
The cutting blades on the bow of the floating mowing machine are tensioned and guided with special metal sliders. Because the machines are constantly used in wet environments with a great deal of dirt and sand, the metallic sliders that have been used so far wear quickly and must be replaced up to three times each season. This necessitates greater maintenance effort, and replacement parts cost about $180.

Solution

Sliders that are 3D printed with iglidur I180 ensure the necessary robustness and lubrication-free operation, even in wet environments and given intensive bow cutter use. The sliders can be manufactured quickly with a 3D printer so that replacement parts for individual customers can be delivered in just a few days.
The iglidur I180 filament is up to 50 times as abrasion-resistant as conventional 3D printing materials. The incorporated solid lubricants mean that components manufactured from iglidur I180 need no additional lubrication. The abrasion resistance and the optimum sliding properties enable components made of this 3D printing polymer to achieve an especially long service life and gives them great versatility in use. The filament can be processed on any 3D printer that has a heated print bed and adjustable temperature.

3D printed polymer sliders

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