Self-lubricating bearings for outdoor applications

Dec. 2, 2021

Self-lubricating bearings for outdoor applications

Any new industrial sector rapidly becomes a test bench for the development of highly innovative solutions.
This is certainly true of photovoltaic systems for the generation of electrical power, a sector that has undergone a major expansion in recent years, in terms of both the number and the size of these systems.

Major photovoltaic power stations are often set up in highly aggressive environments where, in addition to constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, they also have to contend with the effects of dust, sand, high temperatures, wind and zero humidity.
The perfect operation of a photovoltaic power station depends on the functioning of its solar panels, whose efficiency is maximised through the use of a solar tracker which ensure their continuous alignment with the sun.

Clearly, then, the components of the solar tracker must always respond optimally, reducing downtimes for maintenance or, worse, malfunctions.
GGB provides solutions to reduce friction and optimize product design through innovative tribological technologies and concepts. The study of tribology helps GGB better minimize wear and friction in the implementation, design, manufacture, and use of industrial equipment. A bearing system made from self-lubricating thermoplastic compound has been designed to support the structures of solar trackers.

These “engineered for sun” EP®15 bearing solutions are a LATI-manufactured POM-based compound that is specially formulated to offer excellent tribological and mechanical features, as well as excellent resistance to solar radiation.
This GGB tribological solution does not need to be greased or any other external lubricant, and consequently eliminates the need for maintenance interventions to deal with problems caused by drying of the lubricant and the formation of abrasive sludge, which, in turn, cause wear of the metal parts.

This self-lubricating plastic material can withstand the wear caused by dust and sand. Furthermore, it is not weakened by solar radiation, and its typical properties remain stable over time.
Unlike similar products made from hygroscopic resins, EP®15 works at temperatures between −40 and +125°C and at all levels of solar exposure and ambient humidity.

It is also interesting to note that GGB systems can be subjected to compression forces of up to 65 MPa without suffering structural damage.
Finally, EP®15 by GGB shows its environmental credentials in two ways: first of all, by complying completely with the extremely stringent RoHS, ELV and WEEE standards, and second by working without the need for any kind of grease or other potentially harmful lubricant.


GGB helps create a world of motion with minimal frictional loss through plain bearing and surface engineering technologies. With R&D, testing and production facilities in the United States, Germany, France, Brazil, Slovakia and China, GGB partners with customers worldwide on customized tribological design solutions that are efficient and environmentally sustainable. GGB’s engineers bring their expertise and passion for tribology to a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace and industrial manufacturing. To learn more about GGB’s surface engineering for reliable tribology, visit

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