Specialist bearing manufacturers are exploring new materials and designs to meet performance expectations in aggressive environments
To meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse set of applications for its products, Oxfordshire based Carter Manufacturing is offering a range of bearing products specifically aimed at very harsh environments including thin section bearings, ceramic bearings and plastic bearings. Traditionally, bearings are manufactured from 52100 Chrome Steel but this is limited in its ability to be used in applications where severe environmental conditions exist.
Bearings for these applications are invariably housed in areas where they need to withstand highly corrosive liquids, gases and plasmas, often at elevated temperatures or in vacuum conditions. This is why Carter offers various bearing options made from stainless steels such as 440C and 316 and also even more exotic nitrogen-enriched stainless steels, such as Cronidur 30 or XD15NW.
Carter also offer plastic bearings made from PEEK, Acetal and PTFE with design features to ensure continued operation while submerged or exposed to liquids with suspended particles. An important benefit of these high performance plastic bearings is that they offer high heat capability (typically 180ºF to 450ºF) over conventional plastic or steel bearings. Also, they are Lube-Free due to the natural lubricity of today’s engineering polymers and this, combined with the absence of metal-to-metal contact, means lubrication is not required. This helps to minimise maintenance and reduces the risk of contaminating the environment.
A number of such new and varied materials enables Carter to provide bearings specifically for operating environments that standard products are unable to withstand. Such products also include hybrid and ceramic bearings, stainless steel cam followers and corrosion resistant linear bearings.