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Reduce costs with
iglidur® plain bearings

Five reasons why you should use iglidur® plain bearings in motor vehicles

1st reason: reduce costs by 40%

Ongoing pricing pressure is forcing OEMs and parts suppliers to optimise their costs continually. Low-cost tribo-polymers are a commonly used alternative to expensive metal bearings.
Today, almost every motor vehicle that is made contains polymer bearings as a substitute for metal plain bearings and rolling bearings. Uses range from seat systems to thermally stressful applications in the engine compartment, in shift forks for gearboxes, in coolant pumps, or in the powertrain.
Why are polymer bearings more cost-effective than metal rolled bearings?

  • Less energy required in the manufacturing process
  • 11,000 litres of crude oil are needed to make 1 m³ of steel; for 1 m³ of plastic , only 1,000 litres of crude oil are needed 
  • Short cycle times during processing
  • Greater amount produced per cycle due to multiple activities in the injection-moulding procedure
  • Due to precise manufacturing, downstream manufacturing stages are usually unnecessary.

Reduce costs with iglidur® plain bearings  

2nd reason: save up to 80% weight

Legal requirements are necessitating the continuous reduction of vehicle emissions. One way of achieving this is vehicle weight reduction. This results in a further advantage: less weight leads to less fuel consumption.
A modern iglidur polymer bearing is up to 80% lighter than a conventional metal bearing. The number of bearing points has grown continually alongside the increase in vehicle complexity. This means that weight is an important factor to be considered when the bearing material is selected.
This is where iglidur polymer bearings display their advantage: they weigh less than metal bearings and therefore contribute towards the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions. In addition, considerably less crude oil and therefore less energy is needed for their manufacture. Even in use, they do not require any additional lubricant.
For alternative drive concepts as well, the advantages of iglidur bearings are decisive. This is where lightweight and extremely quiet components that generate less unpleasant noise during operation and enhance driving comfort are called for.

Reduce weight with iglidur® plain bearings

* A conventional metal bearing is up to 80% heavier than a modern iglidur polymer bearing.


3rd reason: reduce noise (Buzz, Squeak and Rattle)

Noise reduction with iglidur plain bearings

What is Buzz, Squeak and Rattle (BSR)?

BSR are all noises that are produced by components and assemblies in the motor vehicle. BSR testing, also called a noise and rattle test, is an acoustic method from the automotive industry and is used to measure the volume of these noises. A realistic situation with corresponding vibrations is simulated and the volume of the noise is then measured. The technical challenge for the vehicle and component engineers is to identify the 'noisy' components and replace them with a quieter solution wherever possible.
The expectations of the OEMs in this context are increasing continually. In the case of alternative drives such as the hybrid or electric motor, the noise of the drive is reduced, as a result of which noises inside the vehicle are masked to a much lesser extent by a loud combustion engine. At the same time, it is becoming quieter and quieter inside motor vehicles.

Car with ear symbol

How do iglidur plain bearings reduce noise?

Noises always arise where components interact with each other, in other words where friction occurs. With the tribologically optimised high-performance polymers from igus, you achieve an especially low coefficient of friction and therefore a quiet application. Whether in vehicle seats, hinges or actuators, the variety of applications for our iglidur plain bearings inside vehicles is great.
Polymer is characterised by the fact that, unlike metal, it has a damping effect. In applications involving severe vibrational stress, a polymer bearing solution helps to reduce noise inside motor vehicles. The range of materials developed by igus includes materials that have especially good damping properties.

Car with ear symbol

4th reason: self-calibration

Self-calibration due to heat treatment Plain bearings are used in the interior of vehicles, for instance in hinges, car bonnet mechanisms and seats. Here there are often rough mounts and collared grooves. iglidur plain bearings calibrate themselves due to the effect of heat in the CDC process and ensure that they fit in place exactly.
If you choose cost-effective iglidur plain bearings, you decide in favour of a quiet, lubrication and corrosion-free solution. Electrically conductive iglidur materials ensure an optimum coating result. Irrespective of whether your application is exposed to high temperatures, contact with media or wear-intensive conditions – iglidur plain bearings are nearly always a good alternative.


This is how self-calibration works

Step 1

Roughly stamped mount or roughly stamped collared groove with a H10 or H11 nominal size range.

Hole with large tolerance

This is how self-calibration works

Step 2

An iglidur plain bearing with sliding fit is mounted in the hole or in the collared groove.

Hole or collared groove with iglidur plain bearing

This is how self-calibration works

Step 3

Pin or rivet with cap is fitted in the bearing point.

Fitting of pins or rivets in bearing points.

This is how self-calibration works

Step 4

CDC (cathodic dip coating) is carried out with the fitted iglidur bearing and with the pin or rivet.

Bearing point with iglidur plain bearing in CDC immersion bath

This is how self-calibration works

Step 5

The bearing point is dried. Due to the effect of heat, the iglidur plain bearings calibrates itself in the bearing point. Suitable for up to 220°C and a maximum drying duration of 60 minutes.

iglidur plain bearing being dried

This is how self-calibration works

Step 6

The result: low-clearance bearing support in spite of holes and pins with large tolerance.

Low-clearance bearing support with iglidur plain bearings

5th reason: flexible installation concepts

Freedom of shape in injection-moulding manufacturing makes installation easy

Thanks to our modern injection-moulding method, the desired iglidur plain bearing with almost any geometry can be made. As a flexible iglidur clip bearing, flange bushing or snap on specially forfast installation in sheet metals. Individual special solutions made of plastic in the desired shape, quantity and material are also possible.
Moreover, we can provide you with your desired special geometry within 48 hours as a sample for your tests.

Applications: iglidur plain bearings are used in motor vehicles here

Seat systems

1 Active headrest with iglidur RN293
2 Headrest height adjustment with iglidur RN293
3 Lumbar support with iglidur G and iglidur GLW
4 Armrest with iglidur M250 and iglidur G
5 Seat actuators with iglidur P210 and iglidur X
6 Backrest tilt adjustment with iglidur G
7 Horizontal seat adjustment  with iglidur RN293
8 Seat height adjustment with iglidur M250, iglidur K230 and RN89

Car seat with iglidur plain bearings  

Coolant pump and coolant controller

What are the advantages of iglidur plain bearings in coolant pumps?

  • Resistance to water-glycol mixture
  • Silent operation
  • High sliding speed in medium with hydrodynamic lubrication
  • Mixed friction during starting/stopping possible
  • Possible contamination with moulding sand
  • Maximum temperature 130 – 150°C
  • High speeds of up to  2 m/s possible for a short time without lubrication
  • Cost advantage compared to carbon graphite bearing
  • Overmoulding possible

What bearing materials are used? iglidur H4, H370 and H1

Coolant pump and coolant controller  

Brake boosters

What are the advantages of iglidur plain bearings in brake boosters?

  • Silent operation
  • More cost-effective than metal bearings
  • Less wear 
  • Lower friction than in the case of metal solutions

What bearing materials are used? iglidur H1, H4

Further application examples

Brake booster with iglidur plain bearings  

Request free sample now.

Convince yourself of the quality of our iglidur plain bearings and request the free plain bearing sample box now. The sample box contains:

  • Polymer plain bearings made of different iglidur materials
  • Polymer plain bearings with different installation concepts
  • Bar stock made of iglidur material 
  • Individually manufactured coupling joint
  • Energy chain with cable

Order free sample box now!

Automotive plain bearing sample box  
Motor vehicles and plain bearings  
More on the use of iglidur plain bearings in motor vehicles

iglidur plain bearings are resistant to wear, temperature extremes and oil. This is why they are fitted on belt tensioners in throttle valves and in gearboxes.