Compact Linear Guides Go Maintenance-Free

There are many ways to make linear guides maintenance-free, but these long-term maintenance-free solutions tend to be bulky. Our C-Lube technology is different. Not only does C-Lube lubricate for 20,000 kilometers, it also doesn’t take up any extra room in the guide housing. In this post, we’ll look at C-Lube linear guides in more detail, and learn how to determine the ideal model for your application.

Reliable lubrication. Depending on the type of linear guide, C-Lube’s elements are formed into either a plate or sleeve shape and are integrated into the bearing’s slider. They then release the impregnated oil slowly through direct, continual contact with the linear guide’s internal rolling elements.

Thanks to this on-going lubrication, C-Lube linear guides provide maintenance-free operation for 20,000 km. In practice, that maintenance-free term often equates to the entire application life. While the geometry of the lubricating element differs depending on the type of guide, the C-Lube never increases the overall dimensions of the guide. In other words, self-lubrication capabilities, at least for IKO products, do not increase the package
size of the guide.

Pick the right model. Because all the C-Lube guides offer the same maintenance-free interval, deciding between them comes down to functional requirements such as the type of load and duty cycle. Here’s an overview of the different C-Lube variants:

  • Roller guides. Designed for applications requiring maximum stiffness and resistance to moment loads, the Linear Roller Way Super MX guides feature a slider that operates on a balanced set of four cylindrical rollers. In roller guides, the C-Lube element has been fashioned into a plate-shaped element housed just behind the slider’s end plates.
  • Ball guides. Familiar ball guides, which run on recirculating steel balls, take on a new twist when combined with C-Lube technology. In C-Lube Linear Ways, the steel balls roll through a porous resin sleeve which is soaked in the base-oil of the internal bearing grease. As the balls travel through the sleeve, they pick up oil themselves and also transfer it to the rail as they come in contact with it. At all times, the balls and rail remain free from any metal-on-metal contact due to the film of lubricant provided by the C-Lube feature.
  • Ball-spline guides. C-Lube Ball Spline MAG guides incorporate an internal oil-impregnated plate-shaped element. As the balls traverse over the C-Lube plate, they pick up oil which lubricates both the balls and the spline shaft—again protecting against metal-on-metal contact.
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