Ceramic Bearings - Basic Properties and Applications

SCERAM manufactures ceramic bearings, which provide significant benefits over regular steel bearings. The properties of ceramic impart bearings includes superior intensity, better high temperature resistance, superior corrosion and abrasion resistance, and outstanding magnetic and electrical insulation. Furthermore, the weight of ceramic bearings is also lighter.

Types of Ceramic Bearings Offered by SCERAM

SCERAM offers all standards of ceramic bearings in three different material categories: Zirconia Oxide Bearings, Silicon Nitride Bearings, and Hybrid bearings (ceramic, steel or chrome).

Zirconia Oxide Bearings

The following are the basic properties of Zirconia Oxide bearings (Figure 1):

  • Electrical insulation
  • Low thermal conductivity
  • High resistance to corrosion and acids, except HF acid
  • Avoid vapor as it breaks yttria
  • Medium friction (HV>1400)
  • Resistance to high temperature:
    • Without cage : « full complement » : 500°C
    • With PEEK cage : 300°C
    • With PTFE cage: 250°C.

Zirconia Oxide bearings.

Figure 1. Zirconia Oxide bearings.

The following are the materials used for bearing components:

  • Rings material: Zirconia Oxide
  • Balls material: Zirconia Oxide
  • Seals material: PTFE, PEEK
  • Cage material: Nylon (PA66), PTFE, PEEK.

Other specifications of Zirconia Oxide bearings

  • Tolerances and grades: ABEC-1 to ABEC-5
  • Noise: Z1 to Z3
  • Vibration: V to V2.

Silicon Nitride Bearings

The following are the basic properties of Silicon Nitride bearings (Figure 2):

  • Thermal and electrical insulation
  • Low thermal conductivity
  • High temperatures:
    • Without cage: 500°C
  • Medium friction (HV>1400): Rotation speed increased from 30 to 170% compared to regular steel bearings
  • High resistance to corrosion and acids, except HF acid
  • Avoid vapor that breaks yttria
  • Life time is 50% more than regular steel bearings.

Silicon Nitride bearings.

Figure 2. Silicon Nitride bearings.

The following are the materials used for bearing components:

  • Cage material: Nylon (PA66), PTFE, PEEK, SUS304, Copper…
  • Balls materials: Silicon Nitride (SI3N4), or Zirconia Oxide (ZrO2)
  • Inner and Outer ring materials: Chrome or SUS440C
  • Seals materials: rubber, or SUS440.

Other specifications of Silicon Nitride bearings:

  • Grades and tolerances: ABEC-1 to ABEC-7
  • Vibration: V to V2
  • Noise : Z2 to Z3.

Silicon Nitride bearings have found use in a myriad of applications, including laptop, smartphones, modelism, bicycles, skate-board, and rollers.

Hybrid Bearings (Ceramic, Steel or Chrome)

The following are the basic properties of Hybrid bearings (Figure 3)

  • Good thermal insulation
  • Low thermal conductivity
  • Resistance to corrosion and acids except HF acid
  • Medium friction (HV>1400): Rotation speed increased from 30 to 170% compared to regular steel bearings
  • Avoid water vapor as it breaks Yttria
  • Life time is 50% more than regular steel bearings.

Hybrid bearings.

Figure 3. Hybrid bearings.

The materials used for bearing components are as follows:

  • Cage material: Nylon (PA66), PTFE, PEEK, SUS304, Copper…
  • Balls materials: Silicon Nitride (SI3N4), or Zirconia Oxide (ZrO2)
  • Outer and inner ring materials: Chrome or SUS440C
  • Seals materials: Rubber or SUS440.

Other specifications of Hybrid bearings:

  • Grades and tolerances: ABEC-1 to ABEC-7
  • Vibration: V to V2
  • Noise : Z2 to Z3.

Hybrid bearings are used in laptop, smartphones, modelism, bicycles, skate-board, rollers, and much more.

Other Bearing Products

SCERAM also supplies thrust bearings (Figure 4) for axial load, and UC bearings (Figure 5) with a metal insert and a sphere shape outer ring for centering.

Ceramic Thrust Bearing.

Figure 4. Ceramic Thrust Bearing.

UC Type Ceramic Bearing.

Figure 5. UC Type Ceramic Bearing.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sceram Ceramics.

For more information on this source, please visit Sceram Ceramics.

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