There are many different bar bearings utilising various materials ranging from mild steel (MS) and copper (CU)-based compounds, to polyurethane and PTFE.
Compared with extruded polyurethane, machined polyethylene (PE) bar supports are less impact resistant but are non-absorbent, can withstand higher working temperatures and can last up to three times longer. They are also cheaper to produce and so cost less.
PTFE has the widest range of solvent resistance but is expensive and more difficult to machine.
In terms of bearing design, a simple 'V' form will often be sufficient (see far left) and bars can be changed relatively quickly. Conforming bearings help to keep the coating bar clear of debris but, when manufactured in polyethylene, are less tolerant of variations in bar diameter. Unless single-sourcing bar and bearing, users are advised to ensure that individual suppliers are working to one tolerance.
Pneumatically assisted conforming bar supports (see far right) are more expensive to produce but compensate for such variations, last much longer and can therefore be more cost effective.
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