Whether an industrial environment or in a coffee machine, in order to maximize the service life of a linear guide and to keep the required drive energy low, it is important to reduce friction and wear as much as possible.

German manufacturer, igus, a motion plastics specialist, has now achieved a breakthrough in tribological plastics with iglidur E3, igus has developed a new sliding material that has a friction coefficient that is up to 40 percent better and able to open up flexibility of design in linear technology and expand the coefficient from the classic 2:1 rule expanded to 3:1.

“Our drylin T miniature linear slide offers extremely smooth running and new design freedom thanks to the newly developed iglidur E3 sliding material.

Depending on the operating point, this has a friction coefficient of around 0.16 and thus achieves up to 40 percent less friction compared to the igus standard materials, measured on hard-anodised aluminium, and even less compared to commercially available sliding materials. This also means that manual adjustment requires 40 percent lower displacement forces.

“This is an important step towards greater design freedom, as it enables us to expand design leeway for the first time,” says Stefan Niermann, head of igus’ Linear and Drive Technology business unit.

The traditional 2:1 rule, which generally applies to linear plain bearings, states that the distance between the driving force and the fixed bearing should not be more than twice the bearing clearance. Otherwise, an uneven movement sequence could jam the system.

“The greater the distance between the drive and the guide bearing, the higher the wear and required drive force. igus has now extended this design rule to 3:1, so that the drive can be 50 percent further away without impairing linear guide movement. At the same time, the required drive forces are reduced by 40 percent, which means 40 percent energy savings in electrically driven applications.

“Our drylin T miniature guide is available in three sizes (09, 12, and 15) and can be used in such applications as laboratory and medical technology and tool building. It is proven to slide better – without harmful lubricants and the miniature linear carriage with the new iglidur E3 sliders offers the well-known advantages of igus motion plastics.

The solid lubricants incorporated into the material of the high-performance plastics ensure low-noise operation, high resistance to dirt and no need for maintenance.

“Eliminating lubrication is good for saving costs but also the environment. With new material mixing and processing as well as countless tests in the igus test laboratory, igus has further pushed the application limits of motion plastics and created new design freedom in linear technology.


Ian Hewat
igus South Africa
Tel. +27 11 312 1848

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