Why use PEEK as a bearing cage material?
PEEK has been successfully used as a replacement material for bearing cages for many years. In addition to its high performance characteristics it offers weight reduction along with cost savings compared to traditional bearing cage materials such as brass and aluminium.
In applications where high speed and high temperatures are required, PEEK is one of the only Polymers that can also provide exceptional chemical resistance. These properties can be improved by adding glass or carbon fibres to the PEEK. Its resistance to sour gas and ammonia makes PEEK the ideal solution for screw compressors.
PEEKs resistance to ageing and the absorption of humidity makes it ideal for applications such as process pumps handling liquefied gases and hydraulic fluids as it exhibits no changes to physical dimensions or properties.
From commercial vehicle transmissions to formula one engines and gearboxes, PEEK bearing cages are used in many automotive applications due to its low weight, excellent speed capabilities and high temperature limits.
When compared to Nylon, PEEK has the benefit of being suitable for higher temperatures. It is preferable for use in clean and ultra-high vacuum environments as it has low particle generation and will not out-gas and contaminate the environment in a vacuum.
When compared with metal designs, PEEK cages also offer the advantage of lower noise, lower friction and extended maintenance intervals.
Used as a bearing material, PEEK reduces lubricant consumption allowing the bearing to last for longer periods. It can also accommodate high centrifugal forces and shock loads extending the bearing's service life.
- High operating temperature and able to withstand high speeds
- High chemical and wear resistance
- Good processability
- Superior combination of strength of flexibility
- Good tribological properties