Has anyone tried Teflon axles?

artao Sunday, 2/23/2020

Hey there. I'm brand new at this hobby, just started not even a week ago. So I'm new here too.

I got to thinking about performance, how the wheels work, their tolerances, etc. What might work better?
Well ... What about teflon axles?
I asked about this on 3DBotmaker's Facebook page. Someone said that if I could find 1/16" teflon rod, it might could work.
Well .... I found 1/16" teflon rod. About 30 bucks for 4 ft of it. Pretty decent price I'd say.
They also have graphite filled teflon rod !! :O ..... That doesn't show a price. It's "request a quote." ... But can you imagine? Freakin teflon impregnated with freakin graphite!! Whoa! Talk about FTE! :O

They also have a huge variety of other types of plastics, but I don't know anything really about the properties of those plastics regarding friction. I don't know a lot about teflon either, but I know it's extremely low friction.

Anyhow, here's the teflon rod. They also have thinner (as well as larger. MUCH larger). (they also have glass fiber impregnated teflon, but not in small enuf diameters)


And the graphite impregnated stuff. I'm VERY interested in this one, and intend to contact them about cost. "Request quote" generally means pretty expensive tho I reckon.


I've had a couple other ideas as well, such as actual tiny bearing-based wheels. Sourcing bearing that small might be a pain tho; but I'm sure they exist. (I'll have to look in my bag of torn apart camera pieces and parts. Lots of cool tiny stuff in those)

Or perhaps gluing a short metal tube inside the wheels' holes, with that tube extending out a bit on the car side such that when the axle and wheel assembly is in place on the car, the wheels are locked in position. As in they can't slide in and out as much, like they do out of the box. There's a LOT of play in there, which totally affects how straight the car runs.

Just a couple ideas there. I'm quite interested in trying the teflon rods out. Particularly the graphite impregnated teflon if it's not too expensive. Who know? Maybe the company would find it amusing that a hobbyist would want to use teflon as die cast car axles and be like "LOL yeah sure. here. Just have a couple feet." heh ... ;)


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redlinederby 2/23/20
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I think we'd all be interested in hearing how that Teflon rod does. I wonder how "sturdy" teflon plastic is at that diameter. Is it too bendy? I have no idea...

As for making axles for varying widths of chassis, the axle tube technique is pretty common although I find it difficult to trust (but I think that's just my lack of craftsmanship).

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artao 2/23/20

Re: Axle tubes ..
No no. I don't mean like that. I mean glueing the tubes into the wheels, with a short segment sticking out as a spacer between the wheel and car, as well as being the bearing surface rather than the wheel plastic.
And yeah. Bendy. Only one way to find out I guess.
Thinking about it though, there's wouldn't be much teflon sticking out, and there's really not heavy stresses being applied. I mean, a very heavy car is only like 120 grams.

Not sure when I might be able to pick up some of this stuff, as I have a very limited budget. But soon, I'm hoping. And I'll report back here once I do.
Perhaps others might want to jump on this as well. ;)

Yes, there are many interesting technologies to try out there!

But, one also has to look at where they want to race their car, the categories and the rules.

Many allow for wheel changes, and many stipulate they must be retail axles and wheels. So one has to make sure you build a car to suit the race conditions. Cheers!

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Chaos_Canyon 5/22/20

I recently looked into making wheels out of 10mm teflon rod - was going to cut to width and use my mini lathe to drill the centres etc but a couple of issues - only available in white and hideously expensive in NZ. Like $60 for 1m (3ft) and that is just too over the top so looking at other ideas again now :)

Keen to hear how you get on though

  • Hey CC, if you want to do that, use Nylon rod, or Delrin (Acetal) rod Delrin was the original material for the bearings in redlines. Both can be got in black ans readily machinable. Cheers mate. — CutRock_R_Marc_D

I actually tried 1mm bearings last year on the axles........it was actually slower than a regular car.

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