Special conditions require specialized products. In operating environments where things get a little hot, manufacturers need products specifically designed for high temperatures, including the ball bearings that deliver their materials up to and even through the furnace.
What Qualifies as “High Temperature?”
Most standard bearings are not designed to operate in temperatures much above 200˚F (100˚C). High temperature bearings, however, are designed to operate in temperatures up to 400˚F (200˚C).
Where Are High Temperature Bearings Used?
High temperature ball bearings are used almost anywhere there is an industrial furnace or oven, as the bearings support conveyors that bring materials through. In most cases, the bearings remain on the outside of the furnace or oven as the shaft extends through, but sometimes they are located within the heated area.
Common applications of high temperature bearings include:
- Food processing conveyors, such as in bakeries
- Heat treat equipment
- Kilns and curing furnaces
What is the Difference between High Temp and Standard Bearings?
There are a number of features that set high temperature bearings apart from standard bearings. Due to inner and outer ring expansion as a result of elevated operating temperatures, internal clearances of the bearing are increased. Many high temp bearings also utilize specialized sealing arrangements and two types of steel end caps, both preventing gases from escaping through the bearing-shaft interface.
As with any bearing, lubrication is key, and in these cases a high temperature synthetic lubricant is used to deal with temperatures up to 400˚F (200˚C). Some bearings feature pipe plugs which are inserted into holes drilled directly into the casting, allowing you to drain old lubrication and replace with the new. Lastly, in order to keep that lubrication in the bearing chamber, high temperature seals are utilized.