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ISO 9001:2000 Certified Quality Management System

Getting the Most Out of High Speed Bearings

Bearing speed is affected by a variety of factors including bearing geometry. Bearing rings must be ground to very tight tolerances and polished to a smooth and shiny finish. Bearing steel must be of high quality with small, evenly spaced carbides. Large carbides and inclusions reduce the quality of the steel and create "tear outs" and "comet tails" in the raceway. This not only slows the bearing, but shortens the life of the bearing. Similarly superior ball quality must be maintained for optimal performance. PKB uses only the most reputable steel and ball vendors to ensure reliable, repeatable quality in all our domestically produced miniature and instrument ball bearings. The bearing retainer, or cage, must be produced from high quality materials and must be piloted in such a way that it does not drag on any of the bearing components. Retainer drag will not only slow the bearing but will result in premature failure of the bearing assembly. Proper lubrication will enhance bearing performance and extend bearing life. Too much or too little lube or the wrong viscosity of bearing lubricant will also impair bearing performance.

Aerospace Bearings

Some limiting factors include component quality, lubrication density, retainer material and design. The upper level assembly into which the bearing will be placed can also limit the bearing speed. Atmospheric conditions such as contamination, ambient or fluctuating temperatures, and moisture all impact the bearings speed capabilities. It is important to discuss the bearing's operating environment with the bearing manufacturer to be sure that vacuum conditions, salt baths, and other environmental factors are considered for optimum performance. Special coatings, various ball and retainer materials and a myriad of bearing lubricants are available to satisfy specific environmental conditions, speed, temperature, and other factors.

Bearings are an essential component in many product and assemblies. The bearing allows the shaft to turn and controls speed and vibration in an assembly. Getting product to market expeditiously is crucial to any project plan. A bearing designed from standard envelop dimensions with minimal special features will help contain project costs and reduce component lead times. When choosing a bearing, refer to the standard bearing envelop dimensions offered by bearing manufacturers and work with a bearing manufacturer to satisfy the specific requirement.

PKB manufactures bearings for all miniature and instrument applications. PKB miniature bearings are found in dental and surgical handpieces, bone saws and drills, and fluid pumps for the medical industry. PKB produces bearings for miniature motors, actuators, and electrical sub assemblies for robotic applications such as pick and place robots and packaging equipment. PKB instrument bearings are used in guidance and missile applications as well as specialty products produced for rocket booster components.

PKB manufactures miniature and instrument ball bearings up to approximately a 1" OD at our factory in Troy, NY. Engineering assistance is available to help recommend or design a bearing for precision miniature applications.