The Boca Bearing Company’s new stainless steel series is ideally suited to medical applications, marine equipment, packaging and food and beverage processing. Stainless steel bearings are resistant to corrosion from moisture and can be supplied with non-magnetic properties. Bearings manufactured from a variety of stainless steel materials can withstand tough, corrosive conditions for extended service life and reduced maintenance costs and equipment downtime.
Benefits of Stainless Steel Bearings
- Wash Down Safe : Stainless steel bearings resist the harsh wash down environment found in food-processing plants.
- High Temperatures : Stainless steel bearings can withstand commercial oven temperatures that can exceed 650º F.
- Corrosion Resistance : Stainless steel bearings are resistant to water and special grades of rust proof steel are also available for special marine or medical applications.
Stainless Steel Properties
Stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content. Stainless steel will not easily corrode or rust as ordinary steel does. However stainless steel is not fully stain-proof under low-oxygen, high-salinity, or poor-circulation environments. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the environment the alloy must endure.
Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Unprotected carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further surface corrosion by blocking oxygen diffusion to the steel surface and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal's internal structure.
Stainless Steel Types
There are different types of stainless steels: when nickel is added, for instance, the austenite structure of iron is stabilized. This crystal structure makes such steels virtually non-magnetic and less brittle at low temperatures. For greater hardness and strength, more carbon is added.
Austenitic stainless steels have an austenitic crystalline structure, which is a face-centered cubic crystal structure. The most widely used austenite steel is the 304.The second most common austenite steel is the 316 grade, also called marine grade stainless, used primarily for its increased resistance to corrosion.
Martensitic stainless steels are not as corrosion-resistant as the other two classes but are extremely strong and tough, as well as highly machinable, and can be hardened by heat treatment. Stainless Steel 440C Series contains a martensitic-type stainless steel used extensively in bearing applications that require hardness, dimensional stability, corrosion resistance and toughness. Stainless Steel does contain some carbon so it is still slightly magnetic.
Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance and familiar lustre make it an ideal material for many applications. The alloy is milled into bearings to be used in applications requiring corrosion resistance from fresh water, steam, crude oil, gasoline, perspiration, alcohol, blood and food stuffs. Everything from medical devices to food processing plants require stainless steel bearings that can withstand wash-downs, sterilization and steam cleaning.