Pros & Cons of ceramic Bearings
Whereas metal bearings remain the go-to for the majority of industries, ceramic bearings show a huge range of potential advantages and applications to those in the engineering industry.
Below we list some of the pros and cons of using ceramic bearings in your applications:
Ceramic bearings have a high hardness and elastic formation, meaning they’re resistant to shape changes under heavy loads.
They are drastically more expensive than their metal counterparts due to this hardness. As a result, the machining costs add up quickly when manufacturing precision ceramic bearings.
Ceramic bearings can run lubrication-free due to the fact that they don’t micro-weld like metal ball bearings.
Ceramic bearings must be produced in a sterile environment and by skilled workers. This is due to the sensitive nature of ceramics and any impurities could result in bearing failure.
They are non-magnetic and perfect insulators due to the lack of electrons
They have a lower load capacity than metal bearings and are much more susceptible to thermal shock from temperatures increasing and decreasing. This can cause internal stress and lead to cracking.
Ceramic doesn’t corrode when exposed to water or hazardous chemicals in the way that metal does. For this reason, they are a perfect bearing choice for environments where this is an issue.
Similar to the price issue, as the size of the bearings increases so does the cost. This is due in part to the amount of evenly applied pressure and the slower process required to create them.
Ceramic bearings are the perfect choice for a variety of industries. More and more they are being used in space exploration due to the fact they can handle extreme loads and turbulent environments while off-setting the weight constraints of lunar travel.
While we don’t expect everyone to start using ceramic bearings overnight, with exciting innovations in 3D printing constantly being made we do expect many of the cons of ceramic bearings such as cost being drastically reduced in years to come. This will make the material more enticing to users.