Plastic bearings are optimizing the steering mechanism on what is being called a personal transport vehicle. The vehicle, developed by Redbud Technology, LLC (Union Grove, Ala.) is basically a development in electrically-powered transportation that drives on three wheels.
The polymer bearings come from igus Inc. (East Providence, R.I.). They go into the rear section, which consists of the right and left rear wheels, and a kinematic control slider mechanism. The rear wheels and a kinematic control slider mechanism are a part of a space frame that connects to an articulation joint, located behind the driver. The slider mechanism initiates lean and tilt movement, similar to a motorcycle, using two tie rods connected to each wheel mount. Each tie rod end has an igus thrust washer to ensure smooth rotation. As the front section makes an evasive maneuver around a corner, the rear maintains stability.
The rear section has six flanged polymer bearings per rear wheel mount. The bearings provide the tilt kinematic motion between two C section brackets, where bicycle suspension shocks mount.
Igus donated bearings for the concept vehicle to help Redbud teach high school and college students the fundamentals of design, engineering, assembly, manufacturing and maintenance.
See the figures below for an inside look at the blue-coated igus bearings.
Figures by Redbud Technology LLC.