Ceramic ball bearings (or ceramic hybrid bearings, as they’re also called) have been around for some time now. Many people are aware of their benefits, but some aren’t aware that all of these types of bearings are not created equal—especially when it comes to their ceramic balls. The reliability and performance of a ceramic ball bearing depends heavily on the quality of the ceramic balls being used in it and the process by which they are manufactured.
What Should You Look for in the Ceramic Balls in Bearings?
At CBR, all of our ceramic ball bearings use solid silicon nitride balls (Si3N4) made from top-quality powders. They go through a complex hot isostatic pressing (HIP) process, which increases the density of the ceramic balls through the simultaneous application of pressure and heat. We can say with confidence that the ceramic balls used in our bearings are some of the best available on the market!
The use of cheap ceramic balls by other bearing companies has been a black eye on the ceramic bearing market for some time now. Inferior ceramic balls can fracture, and their users then tend to assume that all ceramic bearings are bad. Unfortunately for consumers, ceramic hybrid bearings with high-quality ceramic balls (like the ones we manufacture at CBR) are visually indistinguishable from those made with lower grade balls. That’s why it’s important to be educated on the materials used in the bearings you buy, as well as the manufacturing process that goes into them.
If you care about your equipment, don’t settle for anything less than ceramic hybrid bearings made with solid silicon nitride balls that have been HIP processed.
Are Ceramic Balls Brittle?
For those customers who are new to the idea of using ceramic ball bearings, we often get asked if our ceramic balls are brittle. What they are likely really asking is if they will shatter or break—like a ceramic dinner plate or coffee cup would if dropped. Silicon nitride is much different than the ceramic you would find in dishes. It is extremely hard and tough.
When we demonstrate the durability of one of our ceramic balls, we place it on a plate of steel and hit it with a sledgehammer. Not only does it not break, it doesn’t even scratch! And furthermore, it leaves a dimple in both the hammer and the plate of steel! This simple test usually relieves the skeptics of any durability concerns they may have had regarding ceramic ball bearings. Ceramic balls that are not HIP processed will often shatter under this impact test—even if they are made with silicon nitride.
Get All of Your Questions About Ceramic Ball Bearings Answered
When you contact our bearing manufacturing company, you get to speak to bearing experts. They can help you choose the best products for your application and answer all of your questions about ceramic ball bearings. They can also take your order and give you a good idea of when you can expect your bearings to arrive.