The ceramic bearings are composed of ceramic balls coated in metal rings that help reduce friction and extend their lifespan. Ceramic ball bearings can help minimize wear-and-tear and extend a bearing’s lifespan, both benefits that could help you increase its longevity.
Arizona-based Performance Bearing was among the pioneers of ceramic bearing technology. Led by founder Jack Wilson – an accomplished racer, engineer, and journeyman machinist by trade – they pioneered this field for years by working to eliminate friction associated with steel bearings.
What is ceramic?
Ceramic is an inorganic material formed and fired at high temperatures to form shapes, with different materials such as oxides, nitrides and carbides used as its building blocks. Ceramic has many applications across industries.
Ceramic bearings are lightweight and more durable than their steel counterparts, making them an attractive option for applications requiring high speeds, reduced friction and greater durability. Ceramic ball bearings are becoming an increasingly popular choice.
Ceramic bearings offer an alternative to standard steels that react with corrosive liquids by remaining chemically inert and therefore will not release harmful by-products that could compromise safety or health of people in any number of applications. Ceramics also make an ideal material choice when the potential risks from contamination arise in certain applications requiring precision manufacturing such as aviation engines.
Silicon nitride ceramic materials are one of the most commonly utilized in bearings, due to their exceptional hardness, excellent temperature and corrosion resistance, and lighter weight than their steel equivalents.
Why is ceramic used in bearings?
Ceramic bearings are an incredibly hard, high-performance material used extensively in bearings due to their superior strength and corrosion resistance, making them superior in many ways to steel ball bearings, used everywhere from Formula 1 engines to skateboard wheels.
Ceramic balls differ from metal in that they self-lubricate without needing additional lubricant; additionally, their rigidity and elastic modulus is greater than steel balls.
Ceramic bearings also last longer than their metallic counterparts, enabling them to be used for more applications. Their fatigue life can last 10-50 times longer than full steel bearings while hybrid ceramic versions may even outlive them!
Attractively designed bearings are also corrosion-resistant, making them suitable for use in environments not normally associated with bearings, including chemical equipment, marine applications, chlorine systems, film processing equipment and fuel handling equipment to name just a few.
What are the advantages of ceramic bearings?
Ceramic bearings offer many advantages over their metal counterparts. One such benefit is being lighter; therefore requiring less centrifugal force to keep spinning.
Second, ceramic bearings are much more resilient. Their fatigue life typically lasts 10-50 times longer than standard steel options while hybrid ceramic options typically outlive them by three to five times.
Silicon nitride, which is an extremely hard and tough material with excellent temperature and corrosion resistance properties, makes for ideal components in this regard.
Ceramic balls offer another advantage, in that they can be ground with much greater accuracy than steel – creating smoother and more uniform balls which reduce friction by making it easier for them to roll, which ultimately creates greater efficiency.
What are the disadvantages of ceramic bearings?
Ceramic bearings have long been known for being highly efficient, particularly compared to steel-type bearings. Ceramics typically feature less friction and energy consumption while being harder than their steel-based counterparts so as to last longer under load.
Although ceramic bearings offer many advantages, there can be drawbacks as well. They may be expensive and sensitive to thermal shock; additionally, machining them or creating an even surface finish may prove challenging.
Zirconia, silicon nitride and silicon carbide are among the most frequently utilized ceramic bearing materials, used across applications including space travel, chemical processes, medical device manufacturing and scientific instrumentation.
However, like any technology there are disadvantages associated with silicone technology. Due to their weight and lower heat resistance than metals they cannot be used in high speed or vacuum applications. Furthermore, machining silicone parts is extremely challenging, while corrosion risks make them susceptible.