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Low-cost cages for high-spec bearings
Published:  10 April, 2007

The Japanese bearing manufacturer Koyo claims to have come up with a low-cost rolling element bearing cage that can withstand high temperatures and high speeds.

Conventional resin cages lose their stiffness at high temperatures and can change shape when subjected to the centrifugal forces of high-speed operation. For extreme applications, the heat-resistant thermoplastic polyetheretherketone (known as Peek) is widely used – but it is expensive.

So Koyo has come up with a new lower-cost cage material which combines polyamide (which has a good creep performance) with polyphenylenesulfide (which has a good resistance to chemicals), and is reinforced with carbon fibre (for strength).

The company claims that the new material exhibits the best properties of each of its constituent materials and offers a performance equivalent to glass-fibre-reinforced Peek, at a fraction of the cost. It says that the bearings incorporating the new cages can be used at high speeds and at temperatures above 200°C.

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