An antifriction ball bearing constructed entirely of ceramic material.
Inner/outer races and balls are made of either Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) or Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2).
Retainers can be made of steel or composite materials such as PEEK or Vespel.
Full complement versions without retainers are available for your heavily radial loaded applications.
When temperatures exceed 572 Deg. F. (300 Deg. C) standard 440C stainless steel and 52100 chrome steel materials begin to lose their mechanical properties. Full ceramic bearings have the advantage of extreme high temperature capability up to 1800 Deg. F.
Full ceramic bearings are light weight. In applications implementing many bearing units or utilizing larger sizes this can help reduce the total weight of the overall product. Reducing weight can reduce effects such as vibration and stress caused by out of balance applications. Weight reduction in rotating assemblies can increase speed capability and efficiency.
Full ceramic bearings are non-magnetic and will not cause interference in applications where there is strong magnetic field exposure such as electron beam processes.
Full ceramic bearings are highly corrosion resistant and will stand up to most common acids, they will not corrode in exposure to water or salt water.
Full ceramic bearings are electrically non-conductive and thermal insulating.
Ceramic ball bearings have quickly proven themselves far superior to their steel counterparts. Increased demands for more efficient and quicker production have uncovered many weaknesses in the use of steel bearings. Faster production speeds mean more loads and negative forces are being applied to the steel parts. As temperatures and friction increase with the higher production speeds the steel rolling elements and their surrounding rings will show small imperfections that can shorten the life span of the bearing. Lubrication for the bearings will also wear out quickly causing the parts to seize possibly causing more damage to the machine than just needing to replace the bearing. Certain applications for bearings are not conducive to using traditional steel. Corrosive elements such as water and salt will break down steel very quickly and where electricity or magnetic fields are created the steel will act as a conductor damaging the bearing over time. Ceramic ball bearings are pretty much immune to all of these factors making them the product of choice for all bearing applications. The ceramic ball bearings are made of either silicon nitride or zirconium oxide that is much stronger than steel, but at the same time up to 60% lighter. These bearings have a much smoother finish that allows them to run at much higher speeds and as temperatures increase with the higher speeds the ceramics will run cooler. Ceramic can withstand heat up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit where steel will start to break down at around 572 degrees. The cooler running temperatures will prolong the life of their lubrication which will save money by not having to replace it as often or possibly eliminating the need for a lubrication system all together in certain applications. The perfectly smooth surface of the ceramic rolling elements will prevent the microscopic imperfections that cause failure in steel bearings. Ceramic ball bearings are also non conductive so they are perfect for use in applications where electricity or magnetic fields are created, and they are non corrosive so they can be submerged in water or salt and not break down.