Motion Control & Drives


Sliding from Munich to Cairo on durable igus linear carriage

July 2022 Motion Control & Drives

Whether it is the sliding door of a cabinet, the seat adjustment of fitness equipment or the bottle dispenser of a beverage machine, more and more designers are saying goodbye to classic ball circulation systems when it comes to linear guides, and are relying on linear systems from the drylin W series produced by igus. This is due to the fact that the carriage does not roll, but instead slides very quietly over the rail on liners made of high-performance plastic.

A robust and corrosion-free monoblock made of aluminium, with linear plain bearing liners made of iglidur J200, make for a remarkably long service life on hard-anodised aluminium rails.

Visually, the linear carriage T20 is reminiscent of a classic carriage with rolling guide. It has the same dimensions as most recirculating ball bearing guides on the market, with the same system height and identical connection dimensions. This enables a simple 1:1 replacement of the carriage and thus a convenient change from a rolling guide to a sliding guide, without any design changes.

The drylin W range is characterised by a high degree of flexibility, allowing users to choose between different rail models. One of the most popular ones is the drylin W standard rail WS-10-40 – a robust, hard-anodised and corrosion-free linear rail made of aluminium, characterised by a flat construction and a torsion-resistant double shaft geometry.

In a testing laboratory, igus tested a linear carriage of the T20 series moving back and forth on a rail length of 1000 millimetres in 24-hour operation, with a load of 250 N and an acceleration of 10 m/s2. The system achieved a running performance of 2500 kilometres in completely dry operation. This corresponds to the distance between Munich and Cairo. With a load of 2 kilograms and a slow travel speed, a running performance of 18 000 kilometres was achieved.

In addition to durability, switching to a linear guide with a liner made of high-performance plastic offers further advantages. Unlike rolling systems, the liner does not require any external lubrication. Instead, integrated, microscopic solid lubricants ensure a low-friction dry operation. The advantage is obvious: eliminating lubricants saves time and costs for maintenance work, while having a positive effect on lifecycle assessment.

The service life of the linear carriage is virtually unlimited, as the liners can be repeatedly replaced with little effort. The cleaning effort is also low, as the liner simply pushes the dirt and grime off the rail. In rolling systems, on the other hand, there is often the risk that the dirt will combine with lubricating oil to form a mixture that reduces smooth running and increases the risk of contamination.


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