Plastics for Friction and Wear Applications

Low-friction, long-wearing plastic materials perform well in bearing applications

A number of different plastics generally perform well in friction and wear applications, and are often used in bearings, bushings, gears, and chain guides. These materials include:

  • UHMW
  • Nylon
  • Acetal
  • PET (semicrystalline)
  • PBT
  • PPS
  • PEEK
  • DuPont™ Vespel®

Low-friction additives such as PTFE, oil, carbon fiber, and graphite powder can also significantly improve the wear performance of these polymers under certain conditions. It’s important to recognize that wear is a complex behavior that may include adhesion, abrasion, erosion and/or fatigue. A particular plastic may have excellent wear characteristics under one set of conditions, and poor wear behavior under other conditions.

Sliding wear against mating metal parts

Wear in gritty, abrasive conditions

Wear in extreme temperature environments

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FAQS

Do all plastic materials have good wear characteristics?

Which material properties should be considered when selecting a plastic for a friction and wear application?

What are the best friction and wear materials for high temperature environments?

What are the best friction and wear materials for use in gritty, abrasive conditions?

Are there any friction and wear plastics that function well in vacuum environments?

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Related Materials

two stacked sheets and a rod of DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide

DuPont™ Vespel® SP-21

DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide SP-21 is a graphite-enhanced grade with low-friction properties.

peek-sheet-rod

PEEK

Strong, stiff plastic with outstanding chemical resistance; performs over a wide range of temperatures.

acetal-sheet-rod-tube-bw

Acetal

High strength, stiff, low friction engineering plastic with good wear properties.

uhmw-sheets-multicolor

UHMW

Extremely tough abrasion resistant, low cost plastic, used for a wide range of wear applications.

two stacked sheets and a rod of DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide

DuPont™ Vespel® SP-21

DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide SP-21 is a graphite-enhanced grade with low-friction properties.

peek-sheet-rod

PEEK

Strong, stiff plastic with outstanding chemical resistance; performs over a wide range of temperatures.

acetal-sheet-rod-tube-bw

Acetal

High strength, stiff, low friction engineering plastic with good wear properties.

uhmw-sheets-multicolor

UHMW

Extremely tough abrasion resistant, low cost plastic, used for a wide range of wear applications.

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