SKF Ball/Roller Bearings Have PEEK Cage Material

SKF has developed a high-performance range of ball and roller bearings designed with PEEK (polyetheretherketone) as a cage material. Rolling bearings fitted with PEEK cages are suitable for use in demanding applications, such as screw compressors, traction motors, wind turbines and within the automotive and construction industries. As well as offering high operating speeds, superior bearing quality, reduced lubricant consumption and energy efficiency, the PEEK cage bearings are lightweight, making them suitable for 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, significantly extending bearing service life. The use of PEEK as a cage material for bearings offers a range of other properties, such as high fatigue strength and flexibility; high chemical resistance to all lubricants, additives and aggressive compressor media; and promoting the formation of a hydrodynamic film.

The thermal-stability properties of PEEK make the bearings suitable for use in applications where permanent operating temperatures exceed 120C, yet they can also be used in areas where peak temperatures are at -250C. PEEK is also said to offer considerably more resistance to aging in contrast to other polymer cage materials. In tests comparing PEEK to polyamide 6.6, PEEK showed no significant signs of aging under rigorous temperature and time variables. As PEEK cages have a particularly low coefficient of friction, they are extremely wear resistant.


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