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The Importance of Coating Bearings

Thin dense chromium and XADC coatings can provide absolute adhesion and corrosion protection equal to 440 series stainless steel. This allows the use of metals that are less expensive, easier to machine, more resistant to fatigue, and longer-lived. These coatings can successfully be applied to ball, roller and linear bearings, brining them to Abex 9 classification. Dimensional stability is maintained with engineered deposits from .000050/.0002".

The nodular surface of the special coatings allows them to work against themselves, increasing wear and lubricity characteristics in roller and needle bearing applications and allowing them to be completely coated. The test indicates no negative effects on expected fatigue life. Bearing operating temperature may be reduced when the coatings are applied; the coatings work well on 52100, M-50 NIL, 440C, pH Stainless, 8620 and many other base materials. Surface hardness is increased to 78 Rc with the coatings and to 98 Rc with a special diamond coating.

Introduced in 1996, the coatings offer the industrial design and engineering community the opportunity to expand their options to enhance the performance of their equipment and tooling. With the addition of nano-diamond spheres to the coating, thin dense chromium technology is unique, but still allows for cost effectiveness. The special coatings enhance the durability of components used in a wide range of applications from plastic injection mold tooling to coating aerospace applications that require long life expectancy, extreme wear protection, low frictional characteristics and corrosion protection.

The XADC uses thin dense chromium coating solution as its base, but is infused with a synthetic diamond particulate, which is responsible for the extreme hardness quotient. Both coatings, at a microscopic level, provide a nodular (as opposed to flat) finish. Unlike traditional hard chrome, a thinner deposit of the coating does not inhibit the coatings' efficiency, and may prevent excessive edge build up.

The coatings are applied using the general principles of electroplating, but employing proprietary chemistry and proprietary fixturing methods/materials. This process is known as "cool": parts will see temperatures no higher than 160F. Lower temperatures means no risk of heat-induced damage (annealing, distortion, warping). Due to the prep procedures, the coatings bond mechanically and absolutely to the surface of the substrate.

Ball Bearings and cylindrical roller bearings are used in the shafts of gearboxes with power ratings of up to 27,000 kw. Tandem bearings are used for supporting the extremely high axial loads on the worm shafts. Bearings are very important, picking the coating that is going to extend their life and save you money is very important.


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