NASHVILLE – Ever heard of phenolic plastic? If you haven’t, you soon will, because it is the key ingredient in No-Grease S-Cam brake bushings being introduced by Polychem.
Polychem’s S-Cam bushings are made from phenolic plastic – part of a family of plastics called thermosets. Thermoset plastics cannot be melted once they are formed – their chemical composition actually makes them get stronger the more they are heated. By contrast, most S-Cam bushings today are made from thermoplastics, such as nylon, which can soften and melt at high heat.
Polychem is offering its No-Grease phenolic bushings at about $3 to $4 a pop – more than double the traditional cost of thermoplastic bushings, which cost about $1 to $1.50. However, Polychem says the return on investment for phenolic bushings is very fast – and there are indirect savings as well.
Since the bushings require no grease, maintenance costs are reduced. If the brakes are properly aligned, Polychem says its phenolic bushings will allow them to wear more evenly and last longer.
A refuse hauler testing the bushings has gone 15 months without the need to replace them or perform major brake work, Polychem reports. The company believes its bushings will last an average of 3 to 4 times longer than comparable nylon bushings.
With field trials now completed, Polychem says its No-Grease bushings are commercially available from parts dealers.