Metal or plastic? In many load transmission applications, the choice will be clear-cut based on loads, lifecycle expectations and environmental conditions. There is, however, a third choice that involves both metal and plastic. Hybrid components that use a structural metal hub with a polymer load surface can offer the best of both worlds in load transmission applications. A good example can be found on a recent feeder rack application that uses a set of rollers made by casting our Power-Core™ material over a steel hub. The rollers, which measure between 250 and 500 mm across, had to withstand high static and dynamic loads. At the same time, they also had to do operate smoothly, in part to minimize frictional heating and in part to minimize noise.
Early in the project, it became clear that a hybrid solution would be the best way to meet all the application requirements. The steel hub provides the needed structural strength, while the Power-Core bearing surfaces reduce wear, frictional heating and noise in ways that all-steel rollers could not.
The right plastic. Power-Core isn’t the only polymer that can be used in applications like this one, but it emerged as the best one for a couple of reasons: