Proven, predictable, tested - our test laboratory

Materials are manufactured by igus in accordance with the motto “Tech up, Cost down”. Our products are designed with great passion to extend the service life of machines and applications, eliminate maintenance and reduce costs. For our engineers, the quality and safety of parts, i.e. their resilience and service life, are an important criterion in development. Every igus product is tested thoroughly before it is made available for sale. To this end, we have been operating our own test laboratory since 1985. It not only is the largest test laboratory for tribopolymers in the industry in terms of area, but also conducts the highest number of product tests and test procedures.

What is tested?

Our facilities for testing applications and materials cover a total of 3,800m². Every business sector has its own test laboratory, however we test some products together on one area. For example, 1,500m² is dedicated to testing chainflex cables in our own energy chains. For especially long travels, 2,000m² of outdoor space is available. iglidur plain bearings, drylin linear bearings, and our Low Cost Automation components are tested in an area of over 300m². The latter is tested under real conditions.

To be able to develop new cleanroom-compatible products quicker, we operate our own cleanroom laboratory with an ISO Class 1 cleanroom system in cooperation with the Fraunhofer IPA. An outdoor testing area, a laboratory for noise tests and the climatic chamber with -40°C completes our test area. To achieve maximum realistic conditions, we also test customer applications and conduct industry tests.

What happens to the test data?

Use of testing data does not stop after development. We have been developing innovative online tools since 2001 and sensor-based smart plastics since 2016, which are based on the database of our test laboratory results. With these online tools, the economic efficiency and safety of our products can be determined quickly and very easily online all round the clock. This means a high degree of transparency for our customers, enabling them to find the most cost-effective, functioning solution to their problem. More than 40 tools are available to you free of charge.
Test in the test laboratory and igus online tool
Long travel outdoor test
Dr.-Ing. Ralf Selzer, Head of Research and Development of plain bearings at igus

How many tests are conducted in the test laboratory?

Annually, a large number of tests and material examinations are conducted at the numerous test facilities:

  • Out of over 15,000 tests, around 4,000 for e-chains and chainflex and around 11,000 for dry-tech (rotating, pivoting, linear, tumbling, heated, under   water, and so on.)
  • 450 test rigs for bearings
  • 10 billion e-chain cycles
  • 3,500 tested cables
  • 400 customer-specific examinations

What are tribo-polymers?

Tribology is the science of friction and wear. Tribologically optimised plastics are those that exhibit minimal friction behaviour and low wear rates. Base polymers, solid lubricants and reinforcements are combined in our dry-tech products in such a way that the bearings, unlike those made of metal, do not require additional lubrication, all desired characteristics are met and only the slightest friction, heat generation and abrasion occur." - Dr.-Ing. Ralf Selzer, Head of Research and Development of plain bearings

Tribology is the core of our motion plastics

The use of wear-resistant materials and maintenance-free components not only saves money but also reduces the risk of wear-related equipment failure or extensive maintenance work. igus has acquired considerable know-how in tribology and a large amount of data in the test laboratory – the best conditions for all mechanical engineers. The reason: machines today are often fully utilised in three-shift operation. In the light of the growing challenges, searching for the tribologically optimised component is time well spent for every mechanical engineer.  

The different areas of the igus test laboratory

iglidur plain bearings

Plain bearing test rig

e-chains energy supplies

Energy chains test rig

robolink Low Cost Automation

robolink test rig

... according to application area