Are plastic bearings fit for high load applications?

Bearings 29-03-2022

Steel has long reigned supreme in the bearing world, but thanks to advances in material science, plastic bearings have evolved well beyond the standard injection-moulded nylon bearings of times gone by. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), along with high-performance polymers, offer wider possibilities than ever before. But are they suitable for high load applications? Here Chris Johnson, managing director of plastic bearing supplier SMB Bearings, explains how to assess load ratings for bearings.

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How is bearing technology changing?

Bearings 23-02-2022

Simple yet sophisticated, the humble ball bearing is arguably one of the greatest technological developments of all time. However, the story is far from written, over the last few decades the design of bearings has advanced significantly. The need for reduced friction, high carrying capacity, a longer service life and downsizing has led to new material uses, advanced lubrication techniques and sophisticated computer analysis. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at specialist bearing supplier SMB Bearings reflects on three exciting developments that have gripped the industry.

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Unexpected applications for ceramic bearings

Bearings 07-01-2022

Bearings may be ubiquitous, but these simple mechanical components are integral to some of the most exciting technological innovations taking place today. Here, Chris Johnson, managing director at ceramic bearings specialist, SMB Bearings, explores three unexpected applications of ceramic bearings.

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Ceramic bearings fit for the world’s toughest rowing race

Bearings 13-12-2021

Ceramic bearing specialist SMB Bearings is sponsoring rowing team, Five in a Row, as they take on this year’s Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The challenge sees over 30 teams of rowers travel west from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, to English Harbour in Antigua & Barbuda. Departing in December 2021, the team will row 3000 miles unsupported, battling harsh ocean conditions and up to 40-foot waves.

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Navigating the post-Brexit rules of origin

Bearings 27-09-2021

The excessive use of the phrase ‘tariff free’’ in media articles has created a misleading impression about the reality of Britain’s Brexit deal with the EU. Crucially, tariff-free is dependent on compliance with complicated rules of origin. Here, Chris Johnson, director of bearings supplier and relubrication specialist, SMB Bearings, explains some of the intricacies of the new trading arrangements and how businesses can get to grips with life after Brexit.

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How can IoT optimise the bearing supply chain?

Bearings 20-08-2021

In 2020, stock management issues were estimated to cost UK manufacturers 66 billion GBP because of disruption caused by the pandemic. Consequently, the quest to improve efficiency, cut waste and enhance supply chain operations is one that suppliers know all too well. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at miniature bearings specialist SMB Bearings, explains how the Internet of Things (IoT) can enable a stronger, more resilient bearing supply chain.

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Aerospace bearings: where did it all begin?

Bearings 20-07-2021

According to Report Linker, the aerospace market is expected to grow from USD 9.6 billion in 2021 to USD 17.7 billion by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 per cent. From personal flying vehicles to a greener aerospace, it’s clear the aerospace sector is developing fast — but where did it all begin? Here, Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings, explores a brief history of bearings in the aerospace sector.

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Precision agriculture: the hype around drone technology

Technology 02-07-2021

Not even the agriculture sector can escape the hype of drone technology. The European drones outlook study reports 150,000 agricultural drones will be used across European farms by 2035, undertaking tasks such as soil and field analysis, crop monitoring and spraying. Here, Chris Johnson, managing director at EZO bearings specialist SMB Bearings, explains the value of agricultural drones and advises on the importance of bearing selection for these devices.

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How to care for your industrial bearings

Bearings 27-04-2021

Bearing maintenance practices are best understood when we first consider their primary purpose — to prevent premature bearing failure. For plant managers with extensive industrial equipment, the failure of these small components can have expensive knock-on effects. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at specialist bearing supplier, SMB Bearings, explains three bearing maintenance essentials: handling, mounting and relubrication.

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The myth surrounding hybrid ceramic bike bearings

Bearings 06-04-2021

Choosing the right bicycle bearings is an important decision for both competitive and leisurely cyclists. While many cyclists associate switching from steel to hybrid ceramic bearings as a performance upgrade, there is another party who simply believe hybrid ceramic bearings are based on clever marketing hype and a waste of money. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at bicycle bearings supplier SMB Bearings, explains the crucial difference between good quality hybrid ceramic bearings and cheap hybrid bearings.

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The buzz around drones in the oil industry

Bearings 08-02-2021

A bee can travel over five miles and then remember its way home, despite possessing a brain the size of a pinhead. Scientists have been putting them in virtual reality simulators to help improve unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone technology. While the honey bee currently has the edge, drone technology is catching up. Here, Chris Johnson, managing director at miniature bearings specialist SMB Bearings, explains the potential value of drones for maintenance inspection of oil pipelines and cooling towers.

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What is radial play?

Bearings 29-01-2021

The humble bearing has many geometric factors such as radial play, axial play and the contact angle which are interlinked and must be carefully considered to ensure the optimal performance of the component. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at specialist bearings supplier, SMB Bearings explains what design engineers need to know about radial play.

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