A range of plastic bearings that provide non-magnetic, chemical resistant options to a variety of industries and manufacturers has been launched by miniature and specialist bearings and relubrication provider, SMB Bearings. The bearings provide a cost-effective solution to a range of niche markets, where traditional bearings would not be appropriate.
Bearings are available in a variety of materials, the most common being chrome steel and stainless steel. However, these materials are not always appropriate for applications across industries like the food and beverage or pharmaceutical sectors.
For instance, bearings used across the food and beverage industry need to be able to handle regular wash-downs and steam cleaning as well as potentially corrosive fluids and materials, yet they must also meet the industry’s hygiene standards.
“Our range of plastic bearings are ideal for these types of applications,” Chris Johnson, Managing Director at SMB Bearings said. “Plastic bearings are non-corrosive and are usually unlubricated which makes them ideal for commercial food equipment. Acetal resin is the standard material but alternatives are available for greater corrosion resistance in aggressive environments such as the chemical industry. The standard range of plastic bearings are available with glass or 316 stainless steel balls, the latter being more popular in food applications as the balls are easily detected in the event of bearing failure.
“While plastic bearings are suitable for a wide array of applications, they do have limitations,” Johnson explained. “As the material is much softer than steel, plastic bearings should only be used in low load applications. However, many manufacturers don’t realise that the bearings can be paired together to increase their overall load capacity.”
The range of plastic bearings offered by SMB Bearings is suitable for lower precision applications, such as conveyor rollers and trolleys. They can also be supplied with flanges for easier location in a housing.