Ceramic slide, roller and ball bearings
Critical applications are often limited by machine parts made of conventional materials.
Slide bearings and rolling bearings must be made from materials that are durable, operate with minimum friction and show minimum wear in contact areas to guarantee extended life.
In critical applications several additional requirements are strongly recommended for these machine elements; resistance to elevated temperatures, corrosion resistance and especially the capability of running dry or at least with a minimum demand of lubrication.
High-performance ceramics are designated materials for slide bearings in critical applications:
Silicon Nitride (Si3N4)
Silicon Carbide (SiC)
Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2)
Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3)
Ceramic slide bearings / bushings can run against another ceramic partner or against a partner of e.g. hardened steel or hard coated steel.
Ball and roller bearings, generically called rolling bearings, can be designed as ceramic bearings or as hybrid bearings
In ceramic rolling bearings rings and rolling elements are made of ceramics, in hybrid bearings only the rolling elements consist of ceramic materials while the rings are made of sophisticated bearing steels.
Due to their very special mechanical properties in particular zirconium oxide (ZrO2) and silicon nitride (Si3N4) are used for ceramic rolling bearings. These ceramics have outstanding material properties compared with conventional bearing steels.