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Temperature limits and thermal expansion

The permissible operating temperature for polymer ball bearings is limited by the type of polymer (diagram 1). Where temperatures outside the permissible range or below 0 °C (30 °F) are expected, contact SKF.
In combination with the operating temperature, thermal expansion is also important. The coefficient of thermal expansion (diagram 2):
  • enables designers to predict the effects that temperature has on bearing internal clearance
  • can be up to 10 times greater for a polymer than for steel
  • can vary considerably for different polymers
Therefore, thermal expansion can have a significant influence on bearing internal clearance and should be considered when selecting shaft and housing fits (→ Shaft and housing fits) and when selecting the bearing materials.
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