Using an array of mechanical inserts could provide a good, low cost solution. TribsertsTM are pressed into the component to provide reduced friction and good wear resistance, exactly where it is required (see Fig. 1).
Tribserts have specially shaped, tubular shanks which deform outwards to ensure secure, reliable fixing into the component (see Fig. 2).
Similar technology is used in self-piercing riveting, but with Tribserts a die is not required on the underside of the component. Pre-drilled holes are also not used.
The space between inserts may be used for lubricant flow or storage (or for holding debris). When required, different materials can be inserted at different locations to optimise wear resistance and component performance.