The iglide car was pushed to the limit today at the Circuit Zolder racetrack, located in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
Last week, iglide on tour visited KTM Technologies GmbH in Salzburg/Anif, Austria. KTM is a service company, focused on concept development, design, simulation, consulting, and prototyping for a range of industries. One of their more well-known developments is the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, sports car, named the “X-Bow.”
KTM Technology’s aim in the development of the X-Bow was the create a two-seat roadster with the best power to weight ratio possible. Therefore, A lightweight design was essential. Lighter vehicles require less energy to accelerate to a certain velocity than a heavier vehicle, and for that reason, lightweight materials like plastics have become more and more popular. iglide bearings more than seven times lighter than similar metal components, which helped KTM Technology achieve their goal of the lightest possible vehicle design.
Inside the X-Bow, KTM chose a number of dry-tech bearings to perform in several different applications, including in the steering system, where iglide bearings were used to support the steering wheel and the door. These self-lubricating components ensure low-friction rotation of the steering wheel and door opening. igubalspherical bearings are also used, including to help connect the car’s body with the door joints. Because the spherical bearings allow for angular movement, a smooth motion occurs from the door spring.
The X-Bow is available in a limited production only, limited at this time to 100 cars. The starting price of the X-Bow is $62,000. The car has approxomately 40 horsepower, and accelerates from 0-62.5 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds.
iglide on tour made it’s way to Amsterdam, capital of The Netherlands, where the dry-tech box found a comfortable spot to rest among the hundreds of bicycles parked in the city.
While traveling through the Netherlands, the iglide car came across a new friend – a velomobile!
A velomobile is a human powered vehicle, many, like the example above use three wheels, and the frame is usually covered by a weather-protective shell.
Very similar to bicycles (which we went over in this post), velomobiles are able to take advantage of iglide bearing’s unique characteristics that set them apart from their competitors. In a weight comparison, an iglide® plastic bushing weighs approximately 80 percent less than a PTFE-lined bushing.
- iglide® G300 plastic bushing = 0.0144 pounds per piece
- PTFE-lined bushing = 0.0750 pounds per piece
Because of this weight reduction, less force is required by the velomobile’s driver in order to power the vehicle. Low coefficients of friction, coupled the the ability to absorb shocks from uneven terrain make iglide bearings a unique component solution for a very unique vehicle!
Learn more about iglide bearings with this free white paper, available here.
For the car’s last days in Austria, it is spending some time in Salzburg – the birthplace of Mozart!
We can cheat a bit today and give you two photos, click “more” to see the square in Salzburg dedicated to its most famous resident – Mozartplatz!
Some of you have asked about our small orange friend – the iglide car! Of course, it is a real member of the team and should have it’s own introduction as well.
Our car is a normal compact vehicle – but with a few modifications. Most noteably, it was painted that distinctive orange hue, and given some official igus logos. With the outside ready to catch everyone’s eye, we had to make the inner-workings just as exciting. Along with the University of Applied Science in Cologne, Germany, the German Technical Inspection Association, and igus team members, the car was completely deconstructed. Using results from millions of bearing test cycles over 30 years of development, igus bearings were retrofit one by one, each chosen for specific characteristics in the automotive application.
All in all, 56 iglide bearings were exchanged in the following areas:
- Seat adjustment
- Brake pedal
- Gear shifter
- Emergency brake
- Window regulator
- Convertible roof pivot points
- Windshield wiper mechanics
- Throttle Valve
After being reassembled, it was time for the car to hit the road, traveling through India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, United States and Canada – more than 30,000 miles so far!
Now, it is time for the car to conquer Europe, starting here in Austria!
Today, it’s time to present the schedule of iglide on tour as it makes its way through Europe.
An overview of all the countries we will visit over the next six months
The tour will be divided into two parts, separated by Christmas and New Year’s Eve. To finish up 2014, we will travel through Austria and continue to the United Kingdom by driving through the Netherlands and Belgium. From the UK, we will spend more than 3 weeks in France and continue on to Switzerland. After celebrating the New Year, we will start 2015 off on a chilly start in North Europe, starting in Norway and Sweden. Afterwards, the car is scheduled to drive South from Poland to Hungary and Turkey. Finally, we will finish with South Europe, having a look around Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
Well, this is going to be quite the journey – these are only the major destinations, we will still be stopping at customers and landmarks along the way. Nevertheless, we are curious and excited about the things we will see, experience, and discover. Equipped with our cameras, the dry-tech box, and plenty of fuel, we are officially on our way!!
Check back for our first video from the road,
Hey, it’s me again!
While we are on the road visiting customers, I would like to introduce you to my teammates for the European leg of iglide on tour.
Sandor is 19 year old, and loves to travel and discover foreign countries. With his driver’s license in his back pocket, he is responsible for the iglide car, and is ready to drive around Europe, safely, of course.
Nils is 19 as well, has a vocational certificate in media design, and loves music and photography. Therefore, I have chosen him to assist me by taking photos along the way. Nils also has experience in videography, so will help with making movies as well.
Now you know who we are, but where are we going?
Find out next time,
Hello everyone, and welcome to the beginning of iglide on tour’s journey through Europe.
My name is Karl, and I will be the next driver of iglide on tour on it’s way across Europe. Over the next six months, I will take pictures, record videos, conduct interview, and post all that information back here for you to follow. You will be able to read about the places we discover, and the cultures we experience. Because I have my Master’s Degree in mechatronics, I’ll also take a close look at many technical aspects of the tour and our customer’s applications as well. Our customers and their applications are our major source of innovation, and so I’m curious to get the whole story of how igus parts can solve their problems, and make life easier. Additionally, igus has also developed a number of web tools to simplify the configuration of their products based on real life testing and customer specific requirements.
All in all, I will report on a daily basis from our travels, and I’d love to hear from you as well! Don’t hesitate to leave comments below, or contact me if you have any feedback or want to know something in more detail.
Yesterday, the iglide car was having routine maintenance done before heading out across Europe, so the dry-tech box and I had a look around Frankfurt.
The Main Tower is one of Germany’s highest skyscrapers, reaching a height of 787 feet, and is used as an office building. 26 elevators take visitors to a platform located 650 feet above the ground at a speed of 15.6 miles per hour, making them the fastest elevators in Germany, and The Main Tower is also Frankfurt’s only skyscraper with a public viewing observator. They dry-tech box made it up to the top, and enjoyed a look over Frankfurt’s financial district.
At the end of the day, the iglide car was able to leave the service center refreshed and ready to conquer Europe. We are already on the road, with the next stop ahead. Where to next? Find out tomorrow, when I introduce my colleagues tomorrow, and our plan for the tour the day after.
So, let’s join the igus celebration of innovations around the world!