Materials for rolling bearings
The materials from which the bearing components are made determine to a large extent the performance and reliability of rolling bearings. For the bearing rings and rolling elements typical considerations include hardness for load carrying capacity, fatigue resistance under rolling contact conditions, under clean or contaminated lubrication conditions, and the dimensional stability of the bearing components. For the cage, considerations include friction, strain, inertia forces, and in some cases, the chemical action of certain lubricants, solvents, coolants and refrigerants. The relative importance of these considerations can be affected by other operational parameters such as corrosion, elevated temperatures, shock loads or combinations of these and other conditions.
Because SKF has the competence and facilities to provide a variety of materials, processes and coatings, SKF application engineers can assist in selecting those bearings that will provide superior performance for particular applications.
Contact seals integrated in rolling bearings can also have a considerable impact on the performance and reliability of the bearings. The materials they are made of have to offer excellent oxidation, thermal or chemical resistance.
In order to meet the needs of various applications, SKF uses different materials for bearing rings, rolling elements, cages and seals. Furthermore, in applications where sufficient lubrication cannot be achieved or where an electric current passing through the bearings has to be prevented, SKF bearings can be supplied with special coatings.