Ceramic - Bearings - Technical
Ceramic vs Ceramic Hybrid
Ceramic Hybrid Bearings
A Ceramic Hybrid Bearing is a bearing with Steel Races and Ceramic Balls. The balls are usually Si3N4 (Silicon Nitride), and the races can be either SAE52100 Chrome Steel or AISI440C Stainless Steel.
Benefits of Ceramic Hybrid Bearings
- Ceramic balls are harder than steel. This can result in longer life in low load, low vibration applications.
- Ceramic balls are usually smoother resulting in less vibration.
- Ceramic balls are non-metallic meaning no magnetic build up and longer life due to no micro-welding between balls and races.
- More tolerant of reduced lubrication.
A Ceramic Bearing is a bearing with Ceramic Races and Ceramic Balls. Ceramic Bearings may be either Si3N4 (Silicon Nitride - Grey) or ZrO2 (Zirconia - White).
Benefits of Ceramic Bearings
- High Temperature. Cages fitted to Ceramic Bearings are often made from PTFE which can withstand temperatures up to 260oC.
- With no cage the Zirconia Bearing can be used in temperatures exceeding 1000oC whereas Silicon Nitride can be used to around 700oC.
- Silicon Nitride Bearings can run at loads and speeds approaching those of steel bearings. Zirconia is usually reserved for slower less loaded applications.
- Inert to water and most chemicals.
- Non magnetic
- Can be used without lubrication
- No heat build up due to friction
Disadvantages of Ceramic and Hybrid Ceramic Bearings
- Less tolerant to vibration than chrome steel or 440C grade bearings.
- Hybrid bearings have balls that are harder than the races. This may result in pitting of the races by the balls under high loads.
- Cage material and seals have a lower working temperature than the ceramic. This must be taken into consideration when determining a suitable bearing in high temperature applications. If the bearing needs to be run without a cage, the operating speed will be reduced.
You can find many types of ceramic bearings in the Bearing Shop Online Ceramic Bearings Online Catalogue pages.
The Small Parts and Bearings has a much larger range of engineering supplies.
Hobby and Engineering Supplies lists a smaller range of products and only the most popular items in each range. They also list many additional hobby specific categories.
For the best range of miniature and small bearings please try the Miniature Bearings Australia website. Miniature Bearings Australia also list a large variety of miniature engineering products.
Extra information for Technical - Bearings
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