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Bearings’ friction consistent throughout tolerance range, supplier says.

Low-Friction Bearing Curtails Cabin Noise

The Springlide bearing makes moving interior parts quieter and easier to adjust. Applications include armrests, rotational and sliding center consoles, head-restraint height adjusters, swivel seats and second-row folding seats.

Automotive supplier Saint-Gobain introduces the Springlide Energised Bearing for vehicle-interiors applications to the North American market.

The technology combines the low friction properties of a PTFE-lined plain bearing and the radial spring characteristics of tolerance rings, Saint-Gobain says in a news release. The result is a versatile energized bearing which is easy to install without unwanted cabin noise or difficult-to-adjust mechanisms.

The new controlled low-friction bearing delivers a clearance-free fit over a range of mating component tolerances, while its spring characteristics have greatly expanded the design possibilities in terms of shape. This creates opportunities for automakers to meet increased demand for interior comfort, the company says.

The combination of spring steel and PTFE means less risk for clearance conditions, which otherwise can cause rattle. This means automakers no longer must create a tight bearing fit which would increase the adjustment force to undesirable levels. The result is a controlled friction component that contributes to a high-quality interior, Saint-Gobain says.

“We are proud of our history of working with key players in the automotive world,” says Christoph Wirtz, interior market manager for Saint-Gobain Bearings. “Such experiences have made us aware of the challenges our customers face, for instance having to choose between torque and rattle in the design process. Our remedy guarantees constant sliding force over varying load, tolerance and misalignment compensation and zero clearance over lifetime to minimize rattle.”

The Springlide bearing makes moving interior parts quieter and easier to adjust. Applications include armrests, rotational and sliding center consoles, head-restraint height adjusters, swivel seats, seat cross-tube connections and second-row folding seats.

Springlide bearings will be exhibited May 9 at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference in Novi, MI.

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