As a ball-bearing material, stainless steel is a natural choice. In addition to being corrosion-resistant, it also has a long service life. Additionally, stainless steel is more affordable than ceramic materials. Its uses in roller bearings are numerous.
Stainless steel roller bearings are made from special alloy steel called HNCR. The stainless steel roller bearings are an excellent corrosion-resistant material and are stronger than ordinary steel. However, it’s not completely corrosion-resistant. In some cases, it may develop a passive layer in environments that are not optimal for this material.
While stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, it does have limitations that can hinder its performance. Some of these limitations are inherent to certain types of steel, such as martensitic. Because of this, it’s not recommended for entire ball-bearing installations. In addition, the bearing housing needs greater flexibility, which martensitic steel does not provide.
Stainless steel roller bearings are an excellent choice for heavy-duty applications. Stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance and is suitable for high-temperature environments. Moreover, they’re easy to maintain.
Long Service Life
Stainless steel might be the right choice if you’re looking for a long-lasting, high-precision bearing. These bearings are manufactured under strict ISO9002 guidelines to ensure the highest level of quality. Every phase of the manufacturing process is meticulously planned, performed, and checked.
These bearings can handle the highest levels of radial and axial loads. In addition, they can also handle moment and thrust loads. As a result, low-speed bearings are generally more durable and have longer service lives than high-speed ones.
Cheaper than Ceramic Material
While stainless steel roller bearings are cheaper, ceramic ones are also available. Ceramic roller bearings feature ceramic inner and outer rings with ceramic rolling elements. These are more expensive, but they offer the highest precision and resistance to wear. Ceramic bearings are becoming popular in the automotive industry, which is growing rapidly due to the need for lighter-weight materials. This trend has led to the integration of stainless steel and ceramic roller bearings.
One of the reasons ceramic roller bearings are more expensive than their metal counterparts is the amount of energy required. The process of grinding and sintering ceramics consumes huge amounts of energy. The material is also sensitive to impurities, so the process needs to be clean.
More Thermodynamically Stable
Stainless steel roller bearings are more thermo-dynamically stable than their counterparts made of ceramic materials. Ceramics are a mix of silicon and nitrogen and are known for their outstanding surface hardness. These balls can reach up to 78 on the Rockwell hardness scale and can be incredibly smooth. However, ceramic bearings are significantly more expensive than stainless steel.
Another important advantage of stainless steel is its corrosion resistance. It is more resistant to corrosion than plain steel and chrome, an essential feature in many applications. It is particularly important in food-grade and clean-room environments. In addition, this makes stainless steel a more durable material for bearings subject to high temperatures.