Ball bearings may be a relatively simple component, but a lot of innovation and engineering goes into producing ball bearings that are more effective, longer lasting, and more cost efficient. By far, the most important aspect of manufacturing high-quality ball bearings is the materials that are used. New and better materials and metallurgy processes have produced a number of innovations in ball bearing manufacturing. Here are top three innovations and emerging trends in bearing materials:
Chrome steel used to manufacture high-precision ball bearings undergoes additional melting steps in order to produce a steel with an extremely fine-grain, resulting in precision ball bearings that are much quieter than traditional ball bearings. Additionally, innovations in the steel used in chrome ball bearings have allowed for bearings that have great hardness, wear resistance, and fatigue life.
In some applications, traditional, stainless steel ball bearings simply don't have enough hardness and dimensional stability to withstand the constant wear and impact required of them. These applications include hydraulic valves, high-load bearings, and high-temperature conditions. In the past, steel ball bearings used in applications such as these simply had to be replaced periodically. Now, though, thanks to innovations in extremely hard metals such as tungsten carbide, ball bearings used in torturous applications can still have a remarkably long fatigue life.
Tungsten carbide ball bearings are both wear and corrosion resistant, well suited for high stress, high impact, low lubrication and high-temperature conditions. They are among the most durable, long lasting ball bearings on the market today and are the perfect solution for a wide variety of applications.
Not long ago, the idea of using plastic ball bearings in anything but the lowest load applications would have been outside the realm of possibility. Now, though, thanks to innovations in the types of plastic that are available, plastic ball bearings are a highly functional, affordable solution for a use in a wide number of applications.
Plastic ball bearings are still best used in low-load situations, however, they are plenty durable enough to have a long fatigue-life in low-temperature, low-stress environments. Plastic ball bearings are also completely corrosion resistant, have high impact strength, and require little lubrication. Best of all, plastic ball bearings are quick to manufacture and available for immediate delivery.
As advances in plastic produce materials that are even more durable and wear-resistant, plastic ball bearings will become an increasingly viable solution for more and more applications.
At Hartford Technologies, our dedicated team of materials engineers never stop searching for ways to produce ball bearings that will last longer, perform better, and cost less. Thanks to a number of advances in materials and manufacturing processes, the ball bearings on the market today are higher quality than any that have come before them. If you would like to learn more about any of the precision ball bearings we offer, feel free to contact us today.
Hartford Technologies, Inc.
1022 Elm Street - Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Tel: 860-571-3602 | Fax: 860-571-3604
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