Are plastic bearings fit for high load applications?
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.