Most Common Applications of Stainless Steel BearingsJuly 14, 2016
Several distinct advantages come to mind when stainless steel bearings are employed in radial load carrying scenarios. The robust alloy reinforces the rolling components, obviously, by adding strength to the bearings. Meanwhile, a post-fabrication surface finishing stage infuses the bearings with a friction-cancelling feature, one that’s reinforced by heat treatment work. We could talk about these benefits for hours, but an abstract approach only takes us so far. What’s needed is some usage areas, applications where these toughened bearings excel.
Meat Packaging Facilities
The crack-resistant profile used in stainless steel bearings exhibits a dense microcrystalline matrix. Now, while this material attribute naturally suits the transferral of large loads, it’s also a handy feature to have on hand in a food-oriented environment. Bacteria won’t stick to a surface that’s slippery and uniformly polished. Additionally, the corrosion-resistant metal is easy to wash down. Finally, a top-notch trolley or conveyor belt equipped with steel plating won’t be affected by the acidy fluids carried in meat.
Graded for Marine Applications
Not every graded form of stainless steel is made for the sea, which is why designers turn to type 316 stainless when they’re designing bearings for saltwater applications. The hardness factor and heat treated feature combine here to deliver a bearing profile that can withstand high RPMs and increased loads. Heavy load bearings are commonly used in seagoing vessels and offshore drilling equipment due to this corrosion-resistant feature.
Aerospace Approved Mechanisms
Flap actuators use rolling spheroid bearings to move wing control surfaces while super-toughened steel bearings support the undercarriage. The passengers will undoubtedly feel anxious as the craft lands, but the bearings roll smoothly as the wheels hit the tarmac. Temperature extremes are also an issue, with a high-altitude chill threatening to lock-up any exposed flap actuators. Stainless steel components function in this frozen temperature just as efficiently as their contemporaries do inside super-heated aircraft engine housings.
The medical field naturally gravitates toward an alloy that can function under adverse conditions because corrosive fluids and exotic chemicals define this environment. Stainless steel bearings function dependably inside medical pumps without pause. Additionally, a stable austenite build removes the magnetic properties of the metal, making it safe for electronic sensors, especially the ones used in medical instrumentation.
Due to an easily customizable build, stainless steel is client-selectable. It can be selected according to friction-deterring finishes, its non-magnetic properties, and a fully adjustable corrosion-resistant feature. That last feature specifically targets marine applications, but the alloy really is a robust operator, one that can be tailored to suit countless applications.
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