Electrical current can be incredibly damaging to metal components. For bearings, it can cause a range of problems including fluting in the races, pitting of the ball bearings, and degradation of lubrication. Electric motors of all kinds, electric traction motors in railroad applications, and medical equipment such as MRIs, for instance, all involve high-stress environments with a great deal of electrical activity.
Emerson Bearing offers ceramic bearings, as well as ceramic insulated metal bearings, which are suitable for highly electrically charged applications. Ceramic materials, with a few rare exceptions, are very poor conductors of electricity; although they can accept large voltages, they are able to dissipate that electricity effectively. The passing electricity causes little to no degradation of the bearings.
In addition to electrically charged environments, Emerson Bearing provides bearings for other severe environments, such as corrosive and high-temperature environments.
“In general, standard AISI 52100 bearings are unable to withstand electrically charged and other severe environments, so special materials are often needed to produce rolling components,” explained Steve Katz, president of Emerson Bearing. ” For these circumstances, AISI 304, AISI 440, AISI 630, titanium, ceramic, and grease-free bearings may be used.”
Emerson Bearing’s sourcing network spans the globe, which enables them to provide a wide selection of harsh-environment bearings that include: ball and roller bearings from GMN, KOYO, and others; cam followers and yoke rollers from Carter, IKO, and others; rod ends from Durbal and FK; oil seals from Garlock, Dichtomatik, and Timkens; mounted units from AMI, IPTCI, and others, roller chains from Daido, Hitachi, and Drives; and bushings from IGUS and Oilite.