Polymer ball bearings

Polymer ball bearings
SKF polymer ball bearings can be made from a variety of materials and material combinations:
  • polymer rings
  • balls made of stainless steel, glass, polymer or other materials
  • a polymer cage
Polymers have significantly different properties than steel. Therefore, polymer ball bearings are typically used in applications where resistance to moisture or chemicals is essential and steel bearings cannot be used or only with certain restrictions. In those applications, polymer ball bearings are an excellent solution from both a technical and economic perspective as they are characterized by the following properties:
  • corrosion and chemical resistant
  • high wear- and fatigue-resistant polymer
  • self-lubricating (no lubricant required)
  • low coefficient of friction
  • quiet running
  • lightweight
  • high specific strength (strength-to-weight ratio)
  • high dimensional stability due to low tendency to creep
  • low life cycle costs
  • electrical insulator
  • good damping properties
  • high temperature usage (some bearings)
  • integrated functions for special bearings
These properties make polymer ball bearings appropriate for the following industries and applications:
  • food and beverage industry
  • medical and pharmaceutical industry
  • chemical industry
  • textile industry
  • electrical industry
  • photographic industry
  • modelling and lightweight applications
  • vacuum applications
  • office products
  • measuring equipment
  • material handling and transportation
  • consumer goods
  • electroplating
  • heating and air conditioning

Designs and variants

The standard assortment of SKF polymer ball bearings provided here constitutes the most commonly used sizes of:
  • single row deep groove ball bearings (fig. 1)
  • thrust ball bearings (fig. 2)
Both bearing designs have uninterrupted raceways and are non-separable. Standard bearings are only available as open bearings (without seals or shields).
Other polymer ball bearings and units (fig. 3) are available on request. Customized polymer bearings can be manufactured economically, even in small quantities. Integrated functions (e.g. gearing, specific shape of the bore) that can reduce the number of components and assembly costs are also possible. Examples of those bearings, which are not provided here, include:
  • inch single row deep groove ball bearings
  • full complement single row deep groove ball bearings
  • capped single row deep groove ball bearings
  • double row deep groove ball bearings
  • track runner bearings
  • insert bearings and ball bearing units
  • special size bearings
  • bearings or components made of other materials
  • bearing units with integrated functions
Compared with same-sized steel bearings, polymer ball bearings cannot accommodate the same heavy loads or high speeds and they do not have the same narrow operating clearance nor the same precise shaft positioning capability.
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