The ceramic bearings have become an increasingly popular choice within industry due to their various advantages. These benefits include:
Ceramic bearings provide significantly reduced friction compared to steel ones, leading to lower rolling resistance and faster rotational speeds. Ceramics also tend to outlive steel ones significantly – often up to 10x longer depending on your application!
Ceramic bearings are extremely hard, which is essential in high precision engineering applications. Additionally, ceramics are very corrosion-resistant, can run without needing lubrication and have minimal thermal expansion while being low density bearings.
Notably, they tend to be nonmagnetic – an essential quality in many high-value applications such as laboratory equipment and medical devices.
Ceramic bearings offer an alternative to standard steels that rust over time and pollute their environment, as they do not react with acids and alkalis in any way.
These properties make these plastics the ideal choice for high-value applications where contamination and magnetic fields could pose life threatening risks, such as in MRI scanners that rely on magnetic forces for imaging patients in two and three dimensions. This is particularly applicable when dealing with magnetic resonance imaging scanners which rely on powerful magnetism to produce two and three-dimensional images of patients.
Ceramic bearings are specifically engineered to endure harsh and corrosive environments. Common ceramic materials used include silicon nitride (Si3N4) and zirconia (ZrO2).
These lightweight, vacuum compatible bearings reduce weight without the need for heavy greases, yet are more costly than steel bearings.
Ceramic materials’ high temperature resistance enables them to withstand a wider range of operating temperatures, permitting operation at faster speeds with greater tolerance to centrifugal forces than metal counterparts.
Ceramic bearings stand out as corrosion-resistant due to their chemically inert nature, which protects them from being affected by chemicals like water and salt water. Metals tend to corrode in this situation.
Some manufacturers use corrosion-resistant ball bearings (CRBB), which protect the balls from saltwater intrusion, to extend their bearing’s lifespan by up to 12 times that of conventional stainless steel bearings in saltwater environments.
High Elastic Modulus
Ceramic bearings offer higher elastic modulus than steel bearings, leading to greater precision and reliability in applications. Furthermore, their increased service life makes them superior competitors.
The modulus of elasticity measures how resistant a material is to deformation under force, making ceramic bearings ideal for high speeds without suffering significant accuracy loss.
Due to this need, many ceramic materials were designed specifically for aerospace applications with extreme loads and corrosive environments, including silicon nitride (Si3N4), zirconium oxide (ZrO2), and alumina ceramic (AI2O3).
These materials’ ability to resist corrosion and thermal shock make them suitable for applications that would not last under traditional metals, like medical devices or machine tools. Their properties also allow them to be used without the need for lubrication in dry environments; also being non-magnetic with high electrical insulation properties makes these materials especially important in medical devices, power grids, or machine tool use.
Ceramic bearings feature non-magnetic characteristics which reduce operating noise and peeling on rolling element surfaces, as well as interference from magnetic fields and acting as an insulator to prevent current flow.
Ceramic bearings offer more than nonmagnetic qualities; in addition to being non-magnetic they also resist corrosion from water, saltwater and various acidic and alkaline solutions – ideal for applications where contamination may be an issue, such as chemical mixing equipment or medical devices.
SKF’s GRW hybrid and full ceramic ball bearings are typically constructed of silicon nitride (Si3N4) or zirconia oxide (ZrO2). Both of these materials offer exceptional hardness without weight penalty, strong corrosion resistance, non-magnetic operation at elevated temperatures, as well as being non-magnetic.
These motors are typically utilized in harsh environments and applications that demand high speed capabilities, low weight and corrosion resistance – for instance cryogenic engineering, medical devices, semiconductors, machine tools, turbine flow meters and food processing machinery.