With the large increase in plastic technology, the use of plastic bearings, particularly in the food industry, has become commonplace.
Plastic Bearings are available in standard inch and metric sizes. Plastic Bearings can be made in special sizes and types in small and large quantities. Plastic radial ball bearings offer many advantages over standard steel bearings, which include:
- Design flexibility since they can be moulded for specific requirements
- Corrosion and Chemical Resistant
- Lubrication free
- Hygienic making them suitable for the food industry
- Low inertia making them easier to rotate
- Light weight
- Non magnetic making them ideal for use where machine sensors are operated that are affected by metallic objects
Although stainless steel bearings are still widely used and will continue to be so, there are many advantages to using light, plastic bearings. They have a variety of different chemical and thermal resistance properties.
One of the biggest advantages from a manufacturing point of view, is that plastic can be moulded and machined into an almost unlimited number of different bearing formats to suit particular requirements.
They are now frequently used in the food industry in self lube applications where a bearing is required with a housing as a shaft support. In this application a plastic housing is fitted with a stainless steel insert bearing.
Check out our section on Engineering Plastics.