When choosing bearings for medical applications, considerations include high speeds, low noise, service life and resistance to harsh environments, aggressive chemicals or fluids. These factors coupled with strict regulations make selecting the correct bearing of the utmost importance.
All bearings should be manufactured using rings produced from high purity material. Common materials for bearings for medical instruments include:
- Martensitic stainless steel, similar to AISI 440C
- Nitrogen enhanced martensitic stainless steel
- Ceramic materials, such as silicon nitride
- 300 series Stainless Steel
Lubricant selection may be the specification most overlooked by designers and engineers. In Medical, and most bearing applications, life depends on proper lubrication in terms of both type and amount.
In many cases, miniature and smaller instrument bearings are lubricated once for the lifetime of the device. AST has thousands of greases and oils available that are designed to function in a variety of conditions and environments.
Bearing Products for the Medical Industry
There are a wide variety of medical applications, the following bearings are some of the more commonly utilized in the medical field.
Miniature ball bearings have an outside diameter of less than 3/8″ while instrument ball bearings are not limited to certain sizes. Ball bearings can support moderate radial loads and moderate axial loads. They can operate at high speeds. Ball bearings with shields or seals for protection can be lubricated to last for the operating life.
Linear bushing bearings and linear way bearings incorporate several rows of re-circulating balls or rollers for low-friction and precise linear motion. Linear bushing bearings use a round shaft and linear way bearings have a rectangular shaped track.
Sub-assemblies incorporate precision bearings and components manufactured to the most exacting specifications. AST can conduct design reviews and provide assemblies manufactured to your specifications or ours. Our highly skilled technicians can provide you with a reliable assembly at a significant cost savings.
For more information on elastomeric rotor bearings, click here.