Military Plastic for Sleeve Bearings
Performance Plastics, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio needed a lower cost
and less moisture sensitive alternative to polyimide plastic for sleeve bearings. Bearings
using PEEK plastic in current use have high friction. Plastic use in structures for
supersonic aircraft has always been limited by high temperatures. The Air Force wanted a
high temperature plastic for a jet engine compressor blade sleeve bearing and other high
temperature sliding applications.
Research Laboratory (AFRL) Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, under a Cooperative
Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Performance Plastics, invented an alloy
blend of an Air Force, rigid-rod polymer and a conventional bearing plastic that achieved
sufficient crystallinity to get acceptable temperature resistance for a compressor sleeve
bearing. AFRL made some of this alloy in the laboratory and tested its properties.
- Society could benefit by getting quieter, longer lasting,
- Performance Plastics could benefit by the use of these new
materials in its bearing business as well as allowing expansion in related markets.
- AFRL could benefit by the development of these new
materials for use in military bearings and other U.S. Government components.
- AFRL could also benefit by earning a royalty on commercial
sales of this new polymer alloy.
If you have any questions about this Cooperative Research and Development
Agreement or are interested in getting more information about technology
transfer and CRADA projects, please contact Jim Singer at Wright
Technology Network (937) 253-0217 or CRADA@wtn.org
- AFRL researched the literature, proposed several new
concepts, and made and tested several laboratory samples.
- Unfortunately, the AFRL rigid rod polymers do not have the
necessary processing characteristics for bearing fabrication and these types of polymers
are currently still too expensive for bearing use. The rigid rod chemical precursors still
come from bench scale production facilities, hence the high cost.
- The CRADA is complete.
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