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Material Innovation

Having the foresight to use currently available materials in innovative ways has changed product designs throughout history. Opportunities for improvement exist with any design and below are some of the advancements made by introducing new ideas to an existing problem.


Throughout history many major industrial and technological advances have owed themselves to the creative application of a new material to an old problem. Looking back to our earliest advancements, entire periods of human history like The Stone Age and The Bronze Age are known for the material that was commonly applied. Just as the application of papyrus as a medium for capturing written communication (in place of stone or wood) led to transportable and widely available knowledge and information, the application of silicon as a semiconductor has dramatically increased computing capacity and availability in our lifetime. These new applications of available materials and the advancements they supported lead to revolutions in the way humans live and work and are foundational to our way of life today.

Many innovations have been made in bearing applications ranging from deep earth mining to space exploration by putting available materials to use in new ways. From Ceramic to Stellite, Stainless Steel to Sapphire, the problems solved are as diverse as the materials applied. From the wooden roller bearings used by ancient civilizations to the aerospace materials of today, the selection of available materials continues to increase. Will the innovation that changes the rules and competitive landscape in your industry come from you? It may be as simple as applying one of these specialty materials to your challenging problem. What is the challenge in your most difficult application? Corrosion, heat and excessive wear are all factors that existing bearing materials overcome for specific applications. Below is a list of common bearing materials and their basic advantages.



MaterialSpecificationFeatures and AdvantagesHardness RcOperating Temp. Limit F°
52100AMS 6444Low cost and good wear properties58-65Up to 400° *
440 CAMS 5618Low cost, good wear properties and corrosion resistance56-62Up to 825° *
DD 400N/ALow cost and premium finish and corrosion resistance58-62350°
17-4 PHAMS 5643Good machinability, high strength and corrosion resistance28-42Up to 572° *
M50AMS 6491Excellent fatigue properties and high temperature capabilities60-64975°
BG42®AMS 5749Corrosion resistance and high temperature capabilities61-65950°
Nitrogen enriched steelAMS 5898Extreme corrosion resistance60-64850°
Cobalt-based alloysAMS 5759Chemical resistance and high temperature stability50 (min.)1000°
Stellite®AMS 5894Corrosion Resistance, good wear properties and high temperature capabilities33-43930°
M50 NiLAMS 6278Can be carburized, high fracture toughness and high temperature capabilitiesCase hardness: 60 (min.)975°

* Depending on heat treat method 
BG42 is a registered trademark of Latrobe Steel Company.
STELLITE is a registered trademark of DELORO STELLITE COMPANY, INC. 




If you have a difficult application or recurring bearing problem please contact your NPB sales rep to discuss a new material solution today.

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