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In the food and dairy business, failure to meet both national (and international) standards can quickly polymer_bushings_in_food_industrydestroy an otherwise successful company.  It is vital that the equipment be not only reliable but compliant with governmental regulations.  More and more engineers are turning to polymer options in the design and implementation of food and dairy processing equipment.  This post will focus on why polymers are an outstanding option for a specific aspect of machinery used in these industries:  bushings.

Why are polymer bushings a good choice?

Here is another blog post feom Advanced EMC Technologies on Polymer Bushings:


Reason #1  Easy to clean

Polymer bushings are easy to clean, which is an excellent characteristic in light of the regular cleaning and sanitation of equipment that is required.  In fact, cleanability is one of the requirements for plastics that may come in contact with dairy products.

 

Reason #2 – Available in self-lubricating form

Polymer bushings are available in self-lubricating form.  This is a good option because these bushings do not require grease or other lubricants, which can become a contaminant.  To the FDA, remember that contaminants can range from foreign particles to lubricants.  These self-lubricating bushings also require little to no maintenance!

 

Reason #3 –  More resistant to corrosion and less chemically reactive 

Polymer bushings are far more resistant to corrosion and far less chemically reactive than their metal counterparts.  This is especially important when you consider the sanitizing chemicals (and bacterial treatment) that food and dairy industry equipment may be exposed to on a regular basis.

 

Reason #4 – Functional operating temperature ranges 

The operating temperature range for most polymers varies from hot to cold, providing functionality in the ranges typically required for food and dairy applications.

 

Reason #5 – Longer mean times 

Polymer bushings have a longer mean time between failures than their metal counterparts.  This reduces the overall downtime of machines, and therefore increases production.

 

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Reason #6 – High load-bearing tolerances 

Both polymer bushings and polymer composite bushings have high load-bearing tolerances.

 

Reason #7 – Perform well in extreme agitation of parts

Polymer bushings perform well in the presence of extreme agitation of parts.

 

Reason #8 – Exhibit excellent wear and fatigue properties 

Polymer bushings exhibit excellent wear and fatigue properties.  This is vital in an industry where a broken part could lead to contamination and possibly expensive recalls.

 

Reason #9 – Enhanced protection against trapped food or materials

Because polymers can be manufactured to very tight tolerances, they offer enhanced protection against trapped foods or materials.

 

Reason #10 – More economical solution over the long range 

Polymer bushings offer a more economical solution over the long range because of their excellent wear resistance and extremely low maintenance requirements.

 


CONCLUSION:

When selecting a bushing for a food or dairy application, remember that there are at least ten good reasons to consider a polymer bushing instead of a metal bushing.

  • PEEK Bearings – Bushings to 500°F
  • Nylon – Self Lubricated
  • PBT low friction – FDA
  • UHMW – FDA to 225°F
Advanced Polymers, Polymer Bearings
  • Ryton – Bushings and Bearings
  • Rulon L, Rulon J, Rulon AR
  • PTFE filled & virgin grades
  • Vespel – Polymides to 600°F

 

 

 

Would you like to know more or need help?  Download a free copy of our Resource Guide with Troubleshooting charts and informaiton.

 


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                 View Engineer ED EMC             

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