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Plastic bearings make the grade

19th July 2017

Posted By Paul Boughton


Miniature and specialist bearings and relubrication provider, SMB Bearings, has launched a range of plastic bearings that provide non-magnetic, chemical resistant options to a variety of industries and manufacturers.

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.

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 ideal for lower precision applications, such as conveyor rollers and trolleys. They can also be supplied with flanges for easier location in a housing.









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