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iglidur 3D printing component test

3D printing polymers that, in moving parts, last up to 80 times as long as normal plastics from conventional manufacturing processes, and in some applications, last longer than metal.

Is that a pipe dream? No, those are the clear statistics provided by testing in our test laboratory and confirmed by our customers. Calculated, tested, proven: each statement about iglidur polymers service life following additive manufacture is based on comparisons that have been performed many times. Their evaluation is also the basis of our service life calculator – which you can use to calculate the expected service life of your printed components in just a few clicks.
 
Calculate expected service life for your printed component


Comparison of 3D printed linear bearings

3D printed linear bearings in testing

Less wear than ABS by a factor of 33

3D printed gears in testing

3D printed gears in testing

Up to 80% more abrasion-resistant than ordinary plastics

3D printed bushing in short linear stroke testing

3D printed bushing in testing

More than 300 times the service life of ABS

Printed drive thread nuts tested

3D printed lead screw nuts in testing

Up to 18 times the durability of ABS

3D printed plain bearings in the pivot test

3D printed plain bearings in testing

Up to 50 times the abrasion resistance of PA12

Coefficient of friction and service life test for rotating bearings

3D printed bearings in rotation testing

Long service life for iglidur I3, complete failure for ABS


Wear test: linear long stroke

3D printing materials in the test: wear-resistant polymer iglidur® I3 beats ABS material by factor 33

Linear tests (long stroke)

Test parameters:

  • Surface pressure: 0.11MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.34m/s
  • Stroke: 370mm
  • Shaft materials: alu hc
  • Duration: 3 weeks

Wear test linear graph

     Y = wear rate [μm/km]
 
     1. ABS (FDM)
     2. iglidur I180 (FDM)
     3. iglidur I3 (SLS)
     4. iglidur J (injection moulded)

Abrasive wear of linear sliding bushes after test

Test result:
the long-stroke test shows lower coefficient of wear by factor 15 for iglidur I180 (FDM) and even by factor 33 for iglidur I3 (SLS). Due to the very good tribological properties, the wear-resistant iglidur materials are ideal for long-stroke applications, such as X-Y gantries for pick-and-place applications or plain bearings and glide bars in the 3D printer.


Wear test: linear short stroke

Tribological properties of plain bearings from the 3D printer almost identical to injection-moulded ones

Wear test linear short stroke

Test parameters:

  • Surface pressure: 1MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.3 m/s
  • Stroke: 5mm
  • Shaft materials: CF53 (left bar) and 304 SS (right bar)
  • Duration: 1 week

Wear test linear graph

Y = wear rate [μm/km]
 
1. ABS (FDM)
2. iglidur® J260 (FDM)
3. iglidur® J260 (injection moulding)

Wear test linear short stroke

Test result:
plain bearings made of iglidur J260, a wear-resistant polymer, have similarly good wear rates, regardless of whether they are 3D printed or injection moulded. iglidur J260 injection-moulded plain bearings and bearings printed in 3D were tested with the same load and surface speed. 
This test also shows that, thanks to tribological properties, our iglidur 3D printing materials exhibit a coefficient of friction and abrasive wear that is much lower than those in standard ABS materials.
Determine the service life of 3D printed plain bearings in your application: just enter the necessary parameters into the free plain bearing service life calculator, and the service life is calculated:

Bearings made of 3D printed sliding polymers are attractive because their service life is much higher than that of components 3D printed from other plastics, and exhibit a coefficient of wear that is at least as low as turned parts

  • Surface pressure: 1MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.1 m/s
■ CF53/1.1213: hardened steel
■ 304 SS / AISI 304: stainless steel

1. iglidur I3 (SLS 3D printing)
2. iglidur I150 (FDM 3D printing)
3. iglidur I190 (FDM 3D printing)
4. PA12 (SLS 3D printing)
5. ABS (FDM 3D printing)
6. PA66 (injection moulding)
7. POM (lathed)
8. PA66 (lathed)

iglidur polymers for 3D printing in testing Y axis: wear rate [mg/km] (a lower wear rate means a longer service life)

Wear test: pivoting

Up to 50 times higher abrasion resistance thanks to iglidur polymers

Wear test swivelling

Test parameters:

  • Surface pressure: 20 MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.01m/s
  • Pivoting angle: 60°
  • Shaft materials: 304 SS
  • Duration: 4 weeks

Wear test swivelling graph

Y = wear rate [µm/km


1. PA12 (SLS)
2. PA12 + glass balls (SLS)
3. iglidur I3 (SLS)
4. iglidur W300 (injection moulded)

Abrasive wear of plain bearings in the swivelling wear test

Test result:

During the swivel test, the tribological properties of the iglidur filaments led to  abrasion resistance  that was up to 50 times that of the standard 3D printing materials (such as ABS). Wear-resistant polymer ensures a much longer service life of plain bearings and other components.
How long will a printed iglidur bearing last in your application? Just enter the requirements and determine the service life online with our free plain bearing service life calculator.

In the swivel test, bearings made of 3D printed sliding polymers exhibit a service life several times that of other plastics, regardless of the manufacturing process

  • Surface pressure: 2 MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.01 m/s
  • Pivoting angle 60°
■ CF53: hardened steel
■ 1.1213 SS / AISI 304: stainless steel

1. iglidur I3 (SLS 3D printing)
2. iglidur I150 (FDM 3D printing)
3. iglidur I190 (FDM 3D printing)
4. PA12 (SLS 3D printing)
5. ABS (FDM 3D printing)
6. PA66 (injection moulding)
7. POM (lathed)
8. PA66 (lathed)

iglidur polymers for 3D printing in testing Y axis: wear rate [mg/km] (a lower wear rate means a longer service life)

Wear test: pivoting heavy load

Comparable tribological properties of printed and injection-moulded plain bearings

Swivelling heavy load wear test

Test parameters:

  • Surface pressure: 10, 20 and 45MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.01m/s
  • Pivoting angle: 60°
  • Duration: 1 week

Wear-resistant polymer in swivelling heavy load wear test

Test result:
this heavy-duty test shows that 3D printed plain bearings (produced with the SLS printing method) can withstand loads of up to 45MPa surface pressure. The test showed that the abrasive wear and tribological properties are just as good as those of injection-moulded plain bearings. Plain bearings with a diameter and length of 20mm were tested, i.e. the 3D printed plain bearing was loaded with 1,800kg. The test results show that plain bearings made of wear-resistant iglidur polymers are also suitable for heavy-duty applications.  
 
Determine the exact service life of a 3D printed plain bearing made of iglidur in your application: just enter the necessary parameters into the free plain bearing service life calculator, and the service life is calculated online.  


Wear test: drive nut

iglidur materials in 3D printing: wear-resistant polymers more durable by factor 6 to factor 18 compared to standard materials

Wear-resistant drive nut

Test parameters:

  • Torque: 129Nm
  • Stroke: 370mm
  • Speed: 290 [rpm]
  • Duration: two weeks

Wear-resistant drive nut

Test result:
in this test, the wear resistance of igus 3D printing materials is higher  by factor 6 to factor 18 compared to conventional materials, depending on 3D printing materials and method.
Printing drive nuts in 3D offers cost advantages especially with low quantities, as the thread can be produced directly in the 3D printer and therefore no expensive tool for cutting the thread is required. The thread only needs to be constructed in the model.
 


Friction test: rotating

Comparison of wear-resistant polymer iglidur and standard ABS material - lower coefficient of friction with iglidur

Friction test rotating

Test parameters:

  • Surface pressure: 1MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.1m/s
  • Shaft material: Cf53

Friction test rotating graph

Y = Coefficient of friction [-]
X = Duration [h]

 
1. PA12 (SLS)
2. iglidur I3 (SLS)
 

 

Abrasive wear in the test: coefficient of friction rotating

Test result:
the tribological properties of iglidur I3 are twice as good in the test as those of the standard 3D printing materials.  This is because iglidur materials contain solid lubricants, which lower the coefficient of friction and significantly increase wear resistance. Wear-resistant polymers and tribological properties are helpful for designing motors and drive forces, since half the friction means that only half the drive force is necessary. You can use our free plain bearing service life calculator – enter your requirements to determine how long a 3D printed bearing made of iglidur will last in your application. 


Wear test: rotating

Coefficient of wear for iglidur 3D printing materials compared to those of regular 3D printing plastics

Wear test, rotating

Test parameter:

  • Surface pressure: 20 MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.01 m/s
  • Shaft material: 304 stainless steel

3D printing wear test, rotating

Y = wear rate [mg/km]
 
1. ABS (FDM)
2. PA12 (SLS)
3. iglidur I180 (FDM)
4. iglidur J260 (FDM)
5. iglidur I3 (SLS)
6. iglidur W300 (injection moulding)
 

Abrasive wear in testing: rotating wear test

Test result:
wear for plain bearings printed from iglidur I180 is  89.5% lower than that for bearings manufactured with the same process from ABS plastic, which is often used in 3D printing. The laser sintered bearing made of iglidur I3 exhibited 94.87% less wear than the laser sintered bearing made of PA12. Only bearings printed from the iglidur J260 special filament and injection moulded from iglidur W300 had better values.  
 
How long will a 3D printed bearing made of iglidur last in your application? Use our online plain bearing service life calculator to precisely determine service life by entering the necessary requirements.  

In the wear test, bearings made of 3D printed sliding polymer perform much better than bearings made of regular plastics, regardless of manufacturing process

  • Surface pressure: 1 MPa
  • Surface speed: 0.3 m/s
■ CF53: hardened steel
■ 1.1213 SS / AISI 304: stainless steel

1. iglidur I3 (SLS 3D printing)
2. iglidur I190 (FDM 3D printing)
3. PA12 (SLS 3D printing)
4. ABS (FDM 3D printing)
5. PA66 (injection moulding)
6. POM (lathed)
7. PA66 (lathed)

iglidur polymers for 3D printing in testing Y axis: wear rate [mg/km] (a lower wear rate means a longer service life)

Gear test: cycles until gear breakage

3D printed gear in testing

Test parameters:
pivoting 1440°: 64rpm, M = 2.25Nm, z = 30, m = 1, b = 6mm

In this test, a gear drives a rack, and the number of cycles completed before the gear breaks is recorded. Gears 3D printed or laser sintered from iglidur lasted twice as long as gears milled from POM.
 
1. iglidur I3 (printed)
2. iglidur I8-ESD (printed)
3. POM (milled)
4. iglidur I6 (printed)
5. iglidur I190 (printed)
6. PLA (printed)
7. PETG (printed)
8. SLA 

3D printed gear test Y-axis: cycles to breakage

Except for the gear made of POM, the CAD models for all tested gears come from the igus gear configurator.


Extremely long service life of worm gears with optimised sliding properties

Test parameter:

  • Torque 4.9Nm
  • Speed: 12rpm
  • Counter partner: hard anodised aluminium
  • Duration: two months
Evaluation
► POM (milled): complete failure after 621,000 cycles
► iglidur I6 (sintered): low wear after one million cycles


Low abrasive friction due to tribology polymers from the 3D printer

Wear is an important aspect of parts in moving applications. Wear-resistant polymers such as our iglidur materials are the solution for minimising wear and increasing the parts' service life. Due to the tribological properties, the iglidur materials are perfect for all application areas in which good coefficient of friction and very low wear are important.  
 
The igus test laboratory covers 3,800m². In an extensive series of experiments, igus is researching and developing new 3D printing materials for moving applicationsin the industry's largest test laboratory. All materials are tested regarding their tribological properties in different test series so as to minimise wear and maintenance intervals. They are particularly low-friction and wear-resistant and ensure a lubrication-free and low-maintenance operation. iglidur polymers offer very good tribological properties and ensure a longer service life for polymer components.

In our test lab, we continuously test tribological properties of 3D printed parts based on DIN ISO 7148-2. The series of tests cover linear, pivoting and rotary movements on different shaft materials. With our filament iglidur® J260-PF, friction values and wear were low in all tests, while the standard ABS material quickly failed the rotating test on the stainless steel shaft. The printed plain bearings made from the iglidur special filament had a similar wear resistance to the standard iglidur injection-moulded parts on all test rigs. Thanks to the wear-resistant plastic iglidur I3 and an optimised tooth shape, our 3D-printed gears achieve a longer service life than standard materials.
 
 



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