At Saint-Gobain, we work with engineers across all industries to supply them with superior materials for all kind of pivot points, including spherical bearings and rod ends.
Our unique NORGLIDE® materials are created from wear-resistant PTFE compounds reinforced with metal: a material that allows you to design and build maintenance-free spherical and rod end bearings.
Spherical plain bearings, or ball joints, transfer loads while facilitating rotational movement in all three axes within a system element.
Think about the anatomy of a spherical bearing. Typically, a radial spherical plain bearing has an inner ring with a convex outer surface, and an outer ring with a concave inner surface. To allow them to move against each other a gap between both mating surfaces is needed. This gap is used to apply oil, grease or even a sliding liner like NORGLIDE®. To keep the gap constant a defined radius for the convex inner surface and convex outer surface is required as well as a very precise contour. Any change of gap will require a change of radius of at least one surface. Tolerances, changing lubricant thickness and wear influences the gap and the area of contact, the load distribution and finally the friction / torque of the system.
Spherical bearings are very sensitive to any change of friction and for most of their applications a certain torque is required. A constant area of contact helps to keep the friction stable and minimise stick-slip.
Grease and oil lubricated systems need maintenance over their lifetime and may contaminate the environment – this can be critical for certain applications where impurities are not allowed. A liner removes the need for additional lubrication in spherical and rod end bearings. For example, NORGLIDE® Bearings are maintenance-free and compensate misalignments – caused by not 100% corresponding spherical surfaces – and stands for low, stable friction, with zero risks of contamination from a lubricant. This is why rod ends and spherical bearings are NORGLIDE® lined (or should be).
At Saint-Gobain, we supply manufacturers with the best, most reliable material for maintenance-free spherical bearings: NORGLIDE®.
Saint-Gobain’s NORGLIDE® MP is the ideal material for your spherical bearings.
This is a maintenance-free bearing material, that contains a flexible metal mesh. NORGLIDE® MP has excellent tolerance-compensating properties and combines the strength of metal with the self-lubrication of high-quality fluoro-plastic; essential when you want maintenance-free, stable friction operation but need the strength of a metal component.
The metal mesh is available in tin-bronze or stainless steel, with the low-friction PTFE compound containing fillers to improve wear and load capability. The result is a durable, adaptable material for a range of applications, which can be cut and shaped for almost any fit.
We offer a range of NORGLIDE® materials; however, NORGLIDE® MP or S are the most suitable materials for spherical bearings due to its flexible composition.
Find out more about NORGLIDE® MP or S
NORGLIDE® MP / S at a glace:
● Self-lubricating. As well as making them a maintenance-free option, self-lubricating spherical plain bearings reduce the risk of contaminants getting into the application from the oil or grease, making them a safer choice for laboratories and anything related to food and packaging industries. There’s also no need for lubrication grooves in the design
● Tolerance-compensating. NORGLIDE® liners have a certain elasticity, allowing for tolerance compensating. They can be assembled under pre-tension – to stay clearance-free in spite of wear
● Stable friction/torque. Another advantage over greased/oiled alternatives is that NORGLIDE® is more stable in friction and torque over temperature – while grease and oil change their viscosity
● Corrosion-free. There are different options for the reinforcement of metal to minimize any kind of corrosion. This could be to prevent corrosion of the used material itself or when those materials come into contact with others
● Noise-dampening. NORGLIDE® liner dampens sound and vibration: essential in domestic and automotive applications where rattles are unacceptable
● Both strong and flexible. The metal reinforcing elements strengthens while still ensuring flexible shaping and superior fit: NORGLIDE® MP / S, therefore, is the best solution for spherical bearings
● Easy to fix. Specifically prepared NORGLIDE® MP / S can be glued onto any metal surface to effect fixation and improve load capability
● Tailored for you. It can be adapted for use in harsh environments, including severe chemical. Talk to us about how we can tailor the material for your application
Engineers will often turn to a steel-on-steel construction when a high-strength bearing is needed. However, there are downsides: lubrication, maintenance, noise and wear.
Our NORGLIDE® MP / S range of materials is designed to combat all these issues, providing low-friction maintenance-free options without compromising too much on load capacity.
● Load capacity of approx. 100-220MPa (depending from material and assembly method)
● Deformation under load < 30µm
● Interference fit: can be designed to produce specific torques and eliminate free play
● Can operate in temperatures up to 200°C
If your application involves exceptionally heavy or hammering loads, talk to us before choosing your material. NORGLIDE® liners can deform under extreme or alternating loads; however, the adaptable composition of NORGLIDE® can be altered for your application. Speak to us before automatically choosing the higher-maintenance steel-on-steel option.
Rod ends, also known as rose joints and Heim joints, are renowned for their load capacity and impact resistance. Consisting of a spherical plain bearing within an eye-shaped head and integral flank, the rod end experiences the same issues as a standard spherical bearing: namely, friction and lubrication difficulties.
A NORGLIDE® liner ensures self-lubricating rod ends for your application, cutting down on maintenance and contaminants, while solving friction in rod ends.
Thanks to its metal reinforcing structure, NORGLIDE® MP / S is easy to preform into the desired shape for your rod end bearings. We can design and make the material to help achieve a specific torque.
If you design spherical bearings for the following applications, talk with the experts at Saint-Gobain about NORGLIDE® liners.
● Packaging and food treatment machines
● Industrial robots
● Printing machinery
● Joints for both – pivoting and tilting
● Automotive Steering
These applications require robust and reliable components that can operate continuously without the need for lubrication or regular maintenance. Food and beverage applications also benefit from the clean properties of grease-free bearings.
If you design or manufacture spherical plain bearings and rod ends, talk to us at Saint-Gobain about NORGLIDE®. You can contact us using the contact us form or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to discuss any engineering challenge you are facing.