Engineering Reference

Precision Ball & Roller Bearings
(Medium to Large Diameter)

Ceramic Balls

Engineered specifically for bearings, silicon nitride (ceramic) balls possess highly controlled, consistent geometry and extremely smooth and consistent surface finish. The stiffness, light weight and inertness of silicon nitride balls offer significant bearing performance advantages, including higher operating speeds, lower heat generation, extended bearing life and expanded design possibilities for unique and demanding bearing applications. In addition, the dissimilar materials between the ceramic balls and the steel rings minimize cold welding and adhesive wear. Ceramic balls are particularly well suited for high speed applications and in situations where marginal lubrication is a possibility.

Typical Applications

  • Micro turbines (power generation)
  • Aircraft instrumentation
  • Gas turbine engines
  • Hot air valves
  • Helicopter gear boxes
  • Accessory gear boxes
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Cutaway rendering of a hybrid ceramic ball bearing.


MaterialSilicon nitride
SpecificationsASTM F2094
Room Temperature Hardness>1380 HV10 (>78 HRC)
AttributesExtended life, lower torque, lighter weight, higher stiffnes

Performane Benefits

PropertiesImprovement in Bearing Performance
Lower internal frictionLower internal temperature
Reduced cage and raceway wear
Lighter weight
58% lighter than steel 
Lighter overall bearing weight
Decreased centrifugal force
Decreased gyroscopic movement
Higher stiffness & higher hardnessReduced skidding
Less friction
Lower operating temperatures
Less wear
Smoother surface
65% smoother than steel
Decreased lube degradation
No cold welding/adhesive wear
Less friction
Lower operating temperature
Less wear
Corrosion resistanceDurability in harsh environments
Less wear
Resists galling
Higher maximum temperatureWider operating range