There are several industries where corrosion resistance is important, but not all bearings are suited for use in environments with moisture, acids, gases, and other potentially damaging substances. Corrosion can lead to several problems that range from bearing damage that impacts performance and part lifespan to product contamination. These issues make it important to identify which bearings are best-suited for food processing, chemical manufacturing, and other environments where corrosion is a possibility.
The materials used to make bearings play a big part in deciding if they’re resistant to corrosion. Standard metals are naturally prone to developing rust, which creates contaminants and increases wear and vibration. Materials like plastics, stainless steel, and ceramics offer a greater level of protection against corrosion, as well as some other advantages and disadvantages depending specific application requirements.
Aside from material options, there are additional ways to help protect bearings from corrosion. Certain lubricants are graded for water resistance or offer other protections to help shield bearings from environmental damage. Bearing seals can also add an extra layer of protection that keep certain substances out, such as water and cleaning chemicals during washdowns. Finally, protective coatings can be used to spray or plate bearings with substances like nickel or chromium that will protect parts for the duration of the coating.