Bearings with Peek cages suit demanding applications

Paul Boughton

SKF has developed a high-performance range of ball and roller bearings with Peek (polyetheretherketone) cages. Rolling bearings fitted with Peek cages are particularly useful demanding applications, such as screw compressors, traction motors, wind turbines and within the automotive and construction industries.
As well as offering exceptionally high operating speeds, superior bearing qualities, reduced lubricant consumption and energy efficiency, the Peek-caged bearings also provide the added benefit of being lightweight, hence they are particularly attractive within the aerospace sector, for example.
Extensive testing carried out by SKF indicated that Peek, a partially-crystalline thermoplastic, can withstand high continuous operating temperatures and poor lubrication conditions, thereby significantly extending bearing service life in some applications.
Moreover, the use of Peek as a cage material offers a range of other exceptional properties including a superior combination of high fatigue strength and flexibility, high chemical resistance to all lubricants, additives and aggressive compressor media, and promoting the formation of a hydrodynamic film.
Phil Burge, marketing manager at SKF, comments: "Peek is an established material that is used in a variety of applications across a number of sectors. In many cases, Peek has replaced metals such as aluminium and brass, allowing users to realise considerable cost and weight savings, as well as eliminating the problems associated with 'metallic reactions.'
"It is also the one polymer that can accommodate the needs of demanding applications where very high or low temperatures or chemical resistance are key operational parameters."
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