What is a Slide Bearing?

July 2020


 

A common problem with structures can be that due to a result of thermal, seismic or differential force, the structure can end up moving. To counter this movement Slide Bearings are introduced into the structure.

PTFE Slide bearings operate at high loads and low speeds, and it is under these conditions the self-lubricating properties of PTFE are at a maximum.

The standard design of a slide bearing is one that consists of two pads of PTFE sliding against each other.  However, there are occasions when very high-pressure is involved that only a single pad of PTFE is used to counter face a polished stainless-steel plate.

Usually, the top pad is larger than the bottom pad, the difference in size is more than that the expected movement of the structure will be, this ensures constant contact between both pads though out the movement.

There are plenty of benefits of using the material PTFE for slide bearings:

  • PTFE has the lowest coefficient of friction of any known solid ‘engineering material’ including lubricated metal.
  • No Stick-slip action
  • Fluoroglide® bearings have a near-infinite life since chemicals and weather have no effect on PTFE.
  • No maintenance required.
  • Fluorinoid® PTFE will never cold weld to itself.
  • Fluoroglide® Bearings are easily installed on-site
  • Fluoroglide® PTFE Bearings are less bulky than alternative assemblies
  • There is no possibility of fatigue failure
  • Small particles which may become embedded do not cause any binding of the surfaces
  • Fluoroglide® Bearings can accommodate some misalignment in construction

Slide Bearings can be used in the following applications:

  • Pipelines
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Concrete Decks
  • Oil and water transportation
  • Storage tanks/plants
  • Buildings – multi-story car parks, civic centre’s, etc.
  • Subsea Pumping Stations
  • Pedestrian walkways

The slide bearing components can be fixed to the installation by bolting, tack-welding, full welding or mortar embedment, and the appropriate type of bearing should be chosen according to the installation method.

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