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Engineering ceramics in roller bearing applications

For full ceramic bearings or hybrid bearings, hot isostatic pressed silicon nitride (HIPSN9 is normally used, at least for the rollers. Only for bearings under less load, gas-pressure sintered silicon nitride (GPSN) can be considered. For the bearing rings, zirconia is mostly used besides silicon nitride.

Full ceramic bearings are used when exposed to high temperatures, in case of extreme corrosion, in food production, wherever standard steel or hybrid bearings fail or their life is only short.

In rare cases, especially where silicon nitride fails because of corrosion, e.g. in fluorine-containing atmosphere, our zirconia balls are employed. Alumina balls are hardly used in bearings, except in plastic bearings.

The use of ceramic bearings allows considerably higher speeds, without exposing them to higher loads. Their lower weight as compared to steel balls and the higher elasticity module result in favourable kinematic conditions in the contact zone. This results in a lower friction torque, less heating up, and lower wear rates. In case of shortage of lubrication, these advantages are an advantage.


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