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Ceramic Skate Wheel Bearings
Articles and information about skate wheel bearings
made of ceramic materials.
The ceramic bearings used in
skate wheels are typically hybrid ceramic bearings,
meaning the inner and outer rings
are made of steel or chrome, but the
rolling balls are made of a ceramic
material. The ceramic material typically used
in skate bearings is Silicon Nitride (Si3N4).
Bearings made of 100% ceramic are also available,
but they are typically used in
electric motor applications because of their
Definition of "Ceramic"
Any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and
corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and
then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay,
at a high temperature.
Here are some of the claims made by the
manufacturers of ceramic bearings, but note
that some of these claims were made for
hybrid ceramic roll ball bearings (the same type
used in skates) that are used in manufacturing
equipment, so I don't know if the same claims
would be made when those bearings are used in skates.
60% lighter than steel balls
Centrifugal forces are reduced
Lower vibration levels
Less heat builds up
Reduced ball skidding
Fatigue life increased
50% higher modulus of elasticity
Improved spindle rigidity
Naturally fatigue resistant
Low adhesive wear
Improved lubricant life
Superior corrosion resistance
Bearing service life is two to five times longer
Running speeds are 50% higher
Overall accuracy and quality improves. Better workpiece finish characteristics
Lower operating costs
High temperature capability
Cutting tool life is increased
Ceramic bearings, hybrid, are constructed of steel inner
and outer rings with ceramic (typically Si3N4) balls in
place of steel. These bearings have several advantages
over all steel bearings, such as higher speed and
acceleration capability, increased stiffness,
higher accuracy, lower friction and heat
generation, reduced lubrication requirements,
low thermal expansion, and extended operation
From Boca Bearings:
"Boca's new and growing line of Ceramic Bearings
are designed to run faster, cooler and longer than
even our very best conventionally manufactured
bearings. No matter how demanding your particular
application is, the switch to Ceramic Bearings
will result in a measurable increase in performance
due to their lighter weight, their ability to
withstand higher operating temperatures and endure
greater loads. But the benefits don't stop there.
Boca's Ceramic Bearings also require less lubrication,
are virtually corrosion resistant and almost
impervious to wear."
"440c stainless or 52100 Chrome Steel bearings with
ceramic balls offer several advantages over "regular bearings".
Any bearing can be made better by replacing the balls
with ceramic balls. The advantages are:
Ceramic balls are harder - greater wear resistance
Superior corrosion resistance
Superior surface finish - Superior surface quality
Superior ball geometry
Lighter weight - better high speed endurance
Ideal for low lube or self lubricating applications
Non magnetic - Non conductive
Can operate in extreme temperatures
Superior system rigidity - better overall accuracy
ABEC class 3,5 or 7 precision".
Falcon has developed and manufactured some of the lightest and most aerodynamic high performance cycle products in the world. Now we are introducing an ultra high performance Falcon Ceramic Hybrid Bearing. The Falcon Ceramic Hybrid Bearings have been designed exclusively for cycling and with the highest quality components available. The Falcon Ceramic Hybrid Bearing provides for the ultimate competitive speed edge!!
Jeannie Longo was the first to use the Falcon Ceramic Hybrid Bearings during 2001 Road World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal when she captured her 13th World title, and her fourth World title in the time trial by winning the Elite Women's Time Trial.
Features and Benefits of Falcon Ceramic (Silicon Nitride, Si3N4) Hybrid Bearings over steel bearings
HIGH SPEED/LIGHTER - Ceramic balls weight 40% less than steels balls. This reduces centrifugal loading and skidding, so hybrid ceramic bearings can operate 20% to 40% faster than conventional bearings. This means that the ball exerts less force outward against the outer race grove as the bearing spins. This reduction in outward force reduces the friction and rolling resistance. The lighter ball allows the bearing to rev up faster, and uses less energy to maintain it speed.
LESS FRICTION, LESS HEAT - Falcon Ceramic Hybrid Ball Bearings truly are ďanti-friction". The ceramic ball will not heat up like a steel ball. Lower friction leads to less wear, less lubrication, less energy consumption, reduced sound level and extends bearing life.
SMOOTHER - The ceramic ball has smoother surface properties than the steel ball. This means less friction between the ball and bearing races and less vibration giving you a faster spinning bearing and smoother ride.
HARDER - Silicon nitride balls have a very high ball hardness that helps "Push" contaminates from the pathway.
CORROSION RESISTANCE - The ceramic balls are impervious to oxidation, chemicals, and require essentially no lubricant. The bearings are lubricated with our proprietary grease.
EXTENDED BEARING LIFE - With their numerous advantages ceramic hybrid ball bearings typically yield 8 to 10 times longer life than conventional steel-steel ball bearings.
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