Automotive Greaseless Bushings
Over the past twenty years, automotive manufacturers have made a concerted effort to remove all bearings and bushings that utilize grease for automobiles. This shift has been slow to take effect because producing a bearing or bushing that can withstand extreme loads and continual abuse has been a challenge. The first generation of PTFE based bushings were for low load/low duty applications found on trunk and hood hinges, seat backs and some interior components. The transformation to the higher load applications, such as door hinges and light suspension components, gained momentum when new designs incorporating a woven or sintered phosphor bronze (a naturally lubricating metal) as a support structure for the PTFE became available.
The current generation of bushing is designed for higher duty and heavier suspension components on cars, light trucks, and off-road equipment and utilize an aluminum or steel backing material in addition to an improved expanded phosphor bronze support structure for the PTFE. The performance gains utilizing an expanded product have made it the material of choice with engineers and the majority of the new bushings being designed will utilize an expanded product. Currently, there are some new model cars with over 200 bushings and this number will continue to increase as these low friction, oil-less bushings are utilized in every moving part within the automobile. Additional applications for these bushings include motorcycles, off-road equipment, bicycles, and even appliances.