Hybrid Ball Bearings

An antifriction ball bearing constructed of steel inner and outer rings with ceramic rolling elements in place of steel.

Conventional all steel bearings limit design as technology rolls forward at a fantastic rate. Machinery speeds increase as production demands maximum efficiency and reliability with the highest output quality. As a result, loads and operational environments become more demanding.

Ceramic hybrid bearings using Silicon Nitride balls (Si3N4) meet and exceed today%u2019s requirements offering a long list of characteristics far superior to that of conventional all-steel bearings.

Bearing Works produces a full line of ceramic hybrid radial ball bearings with the features described below. We specialize in clean vacuum compatible solid film lubricants and lubricating retainers. We know down time means money - we offer the shortest lead times in the industry (5-10 days) and same day emergency service.

Features and Benefits

  • Increased speed capability over conventional all steel bearing
  • Increased stiffness
  • Reduced weight
  • Higher accuracy
  • Less friction resulting in less heat
  • Reduced lubrication requirements and in some applications eliminating grease or oil completely
  • Non-Conductive
  • All of which can lead to extended operation life

High Speed and Acceleration

Up to 3 million (dN). 40% as dense as steel, the resulting reduction in weight reduces centrifugal forces imparted on the rings, reducing skidding, allowing 30 to 50% higher running speeds with less lubrication, resulting in increased productivity.

Increased Stiffness

Silicon nitride balls have a 50 % higher modulus of elasticity (resistance to deformation) than steel, which means a 15 to 20% increase in rigidity, improving accuracy. The results of this feature will be realized in greater production quality.

Higher Accuracy

Ceramic balls have a smoother finish than steel, vibration and spindle deflection is reduced allowing higher speeds. Production quality will be improved.

Less Friction, Less Heat

Ceramic Hybrid Ball Bearings truly are %u201Canti-friction". Lower friction leads to less wear, less lubrication, less energy consumption, reduced sound level and extends life lowering your operating costs and increasing productivity. Lowered operating temperatures improve the work environment.

Reduced Lubrication Requirements

Ceramic Hybrids sport improved kinematic behavior, generate less friction and demand less lubrication. This can lower operating costs by minimizing design, maintenance, and complexity of typical lubrication systems.

Low Thermal Expansion

A low thermal expansion coefficient allows HYBRIDS with ceramic balls to undergo smaller changes in contact angle reducing preload variations improving life and maintaining tolerances.


Electrical pitting and fluting of the raceway is caused when current passes through the ball to the raceway, typical in electric motor applications, ceramic balls insulate.

Extended Operating Life

With their numerous advantages ceramic hybrid ball bearings typically yield 5 to 10 times longer life than conventional steel-steel ball bearings in most applications.

The use of hybrid ball bearings in today's industries is quickly replacing the more traditional steel ball bearings. With there combination of ceramic balls and steel inner and outer rings the hybrid ball bearings provide the user with a more durable and longer lasting product. Steel bearings will wear out more quickly due to a number of factors. They conduct electricity which causes pits and grooves to appear on the balls and in the rings. This damage will cause excessive noise and wear out the bearing. When designing steel bearings there ability to carry the load forces is usually the primary concern of the manufacturer without taking into account the wear and tear factor. Improper lubrication and the introduction of contaminants will wear out the steel bearings before there designed life expectancy, incurring unnecessary maintenance and replacement costs. Hybrid ball bearings are able to counter all of these negative attributes resulting in a stronger, longer lasting piece of equipment.

The balls in these new bearings are either made of silicon nitride or zirconium oxide. They are stronger than steel yet they weigh less resulting in a higher operating speed and increasing efficiency. Hybrid ball bearings do not conduct electricity so they do not experience the wear that steel bearings do giving them a longer life. There is also less need for lubrication if any at all because the ceramics can operate at a lower temperature and the lubricant does not need replacing as often. The ceramic balls reduce friction and are resistant to static vibration because of there dissimilar materials again reducing wear and tear of the materials. In contaminated environments solid particles can cause damage to the balls and rings of the bearings. Ceramic ball material eliminates this by smoothing the surface roughness without compromising the integrity of the balls. With so many advantages over steel bearings the ceramic hybrid ball bearings are quickly becoming the bearing of choice for all applications.

Hybrid ball bearings may be a bit more expensive than their steel counterparts, but the extra costs are quickly recouped. There unmatched durability gives the hybrid ball bearings a life expectancy ten times that of steel. They lower operating and maintenance costs, and increase efficiency ultimately increasing profits. As technology advances and demands for maximum production and reliability increase the loads and operational environments will require a more reliable product only found in the ceramic hybrid ball bearings.