How to select the bearing steel of conveyor idler

The conveyor idler is a critical component in transport and conveyor systems. The material quality and durability of conveyor idler bearings directly impact the efficiency and lifespan of the entire system. This article will introduce the key material of conveyor idler bearings - bearing steel - and explore its application in transport and conveyor systems.

For conveyor idler manufacturers, the most important component of the conveyor idler should be the bearing. The bearing dominates the rotation resistance of the conveyor idler, and also directly determines the service life of the conveyor idler. The following is the professional knowledge that our manufacturers need to know when choosing bearings:

1. Long overall hardened bearing steel
The most commonly used through hardened bearing steel is a carbon chromium steel containing approximately 1% carbon and 1,5% chromium according to ISO 683-17:1999. Today, carbon chromium steel is one of the oldest and most researched steels; due to the ever-increasing requirements for longer bearing life. This bearing steel offers the best balance between manufacturing and application properties. This steel is usually heat-treated to a martensitic or bainitic level, during which it is hardened to a range of 58 to 65 HRC. Over the past few years, process developments have resulted in stricter cleaning specifications and important breakthroughs have been made in the density and quality of SKF bearing steels. The reduction of oxygen and harmful non-metallic inclusions significantly improves the characteristics of the bearing steel - this is the steel used in the manufacture of SKF Explorer grade bearings, conveyor idlers using this bearing will have excellent load carrying capacity, running stability and super long service life
2. Induction hardened bearing steel
Surface hardening offers the possibility to selectively harden the raceways of a component while leaving the rest of the component unaffected by the hardening process. The steel grade and the manufacturing process used prior to surface induction hardening determine the properties of the parts that are not affected by hardening, which means that various properties can be mixed in one component. For example, a flanged hub bearing idler unit (HBU) has unhardened flanges designed to resist structural fatigue and raceways designed to resist rolling contact fatigue.
3. Surface hardened bearing steel
Chromium-nickel and manganese-chromium alloy steels containing about 0,15% carbon according to ISO 683-17:1999 are the most commonly used case hardened steels for SKF rolling bearings. In applications with high tension interference fits and high shock loads, it is recommended to use bearings with carburized rings and/or rolling elements when assembling idlers.
4. Stainless bearing steel
The stainless steels most commonly used for SKF bearing rings and rolling parts are high chromium steel X65Cr14 according to ISO 683-17:2000 and high chromium steel X105CrMo17 according to EN 10088-1:1995. It should be noted that corrosion-resistant coatings may be an excellent alternative to stainless steel for idler conveyor idlers for certain applications. For further information on alternative coatings, please consult the SKF application engineering service.
5. High temperature bearing steel
Standard bearings made of through-hardened and case-hardened steels have a maximum recommended operating temperature of between 120 and 200 degrees Celsius, depending on the bearing type. The maximum operating temperature is directly related to the heat treatment process used to manufacture the component. For operating temperatures up to 250°C, special heat treatment (stabilization) processes are available. In this case, it must be taken into account that the load carrying capacity of the bearing will be reduced. For bearings operating at high temperatures (above 250 degrees Celsius) for long periods of time, high-alloy steels such as 80MoCrV42-16 in accordance with ISO 683-17:1999 should be used because this steel can maintain its hardness even under extreme temperature conditions And bearings have good performance, so the conveyor idlers using this bearing are suitable for operation under high temperature conditions, such as steel plants, cement plants and coke plants, etc.
6. Ceramic materials
A common ceramic material for SKF bearing rings and rolling elements is bearing grade silicon nitride. It is composed of elongated grains of beta silicon nitride in a glassy phase matrix. It provides rolling bearings with excellent properties such as high hardness, low density, low thermal expansion, high electrical resistivity, low dielectric constant, and immunity to magnetic fields.

Conclusion: Through a thorough study of idler roller bearing materials, we can better understand how to choose the most suitable material to ensure the smooth operation of transport and conveyor systems. Bearing steel's high strength, toughness, and wear resistance make it an ideal material for idler roller bearings. We believe this article will be helpful for those who want to learn about transport and conveyor systems.

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