Metal Polymer vs Plastic Bushings FAQs


Plastic bushings are getting some press lately and many are wondering how they compare to metal polymer bushings. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions about plastic bushes:

What is the difference in load capacity?

Due to the physical and mechanical aspects of the material, metal polymer bushings have a greater load capacity than plastic bushings.

How does the bushing handle heat?

Plastics are insulators of heat. As the bushing heats up, the polymer becomes softer. This lowers the mechanical strength and performance life.

Metal polymer bushings are better conductors and the bushings have greater ability to manage and control heat buildup when compared to plastic. This minimizes the influence of heat damage on the working surfaces.

How is PTFE added to the bushing?

Plastic bushings can have lubrication fillers added to the resin base to improve the friction coefficient.

Self-lubricating, metallic-composite bushings typically have a thin impregnated layer of modified PTFE that is mechanically bonded to the backing. The PTFE lowers friction, improves wear resistance, and increases dynamic load capability and performance life.

What about the bushing’s accuracy?

The clearance in metal bushings is more precise than plastic. Manufacturing process tolerances and assembly clearances are influenced by thermal expansion of the polymers.

Don’t plastic bushings cost less than metallic?

Costs depend on the manufacturer and the technology used in the manufacturing process. Many metallic bushings can be economically adapted to the application, making them available within the same price range as plastic bushings.

When does a plastic bushing make sense?

Plastic bushings work well in simple or low-performance applications. For example, in applications that have low speed and light load under normal temp

If you have technical questions about how a bushing’s composite will perform in your application, speak with a bearing expert.