CERBEC® Ceramic Balls for a Wide Range of Manufacturing Bearings and Ballscrew Applications at IMTS 2006

Booth D-4705
(East Granby, CT - May 2006) Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics will demonstrate how its line of CERBEC® balls make bearings and ballscrews better at IMTS 2006, booth D-4705. The event will be held in Chicago, September 6-13. Several of Saint-Gobain's customers' bearings and ballscrews will be displayed in the exhibit to show how CERBEC is applied in hybrid bearings (steel races and CERBEC balls) produced by SKF, Timken, NSK, SNFA, Cerobear, GMN, and others. Representing the ballscrew market, Umbra will show several of its machine tool ballscrews, which incorporate Saint-Gobain's ceramic roller components.

Hybrid bearings are used in a wide range of products from companies that will visit and exhibit at IMTS, including machine tool spindles, aerospace instrumentation, automobile wheels and gear boxes, electric motors, turbo molecular pumps, centrifugal pumps, vacuum pumps, robotics, and power tools.

According to Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics and its customers, products last longer and provide better performance using CERBEC rather than steel balls for many reasons. CERBEC balls offer many advantages, and it is the combination of lower thermal expansion, higher hardness, higher stiffness, lighter weight, increased corrosion resistance, higher electrical resistance that increases performance and decreases total operating costs for the bearing user. Generally, products using hybrid bearings offer decreased lube degradation and less wear, yielding longer bearing life; higher operating speeds, such as in the case for spindles, result in increased productivity; reduced product downtime with less maintenance provides higher product reliability.

As a case in point for spindles, Fischer has a high performance spindle using hybrid (steel races with ceramic CERBEC® balls) angular contact bearings because of their inherent lower thermal expansion, smoother surface, increased hardness and stiffness, lighter weight, and corrosion/electrical-resistant properties. Its rigid shaft also contributes to reliability and long service life. Even at maximum spindle speeds and with shafts of large diameters, this type of bearing provides the rigidity required for 5-axis machines and the dynamic behavior of the spindle, as the shafts own frequency is much higher than its rotational frequency.

As another example, according to Luciano Pizzoni, Stress Analyst and R&D Chief Engineer at Umbra, "The CERBEC balls play an extremely important role in our ballscrew technology. In applications where poor lubrication and the necessity of long life are pressing issues, we use larger ceramic balls spaced by smaller steel balls. With this new design, the rigidity of the system can be optimized and wear is no longer an issue. Components with ceramic balls are very forgiving. Using both ceramic and steel balls, which resist adhesion, provides higher load capacity, greater reliability, and an enormous increase in the number of cycles."

According to Umbra, ballscrews with CERBEC components are capable of handling loads up to 1,800 KNewton, and have axial speeds between 150 and 160 meters per minute, with acceleration capabilities in the range of 3G. Although ballscrew speed is generally not an important factor in injection molding applications, reliability and long life are.

Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics is a division of Saint-Gobain. Saint-Gobain operates in 46 countries worldwide, is one of the world's 100 leading industrial corporations, and fields a workforce of over 170,000. It is organized into three primary areas: Glass, Housing, and High Performance Materials, which are comprised of several operational divisions. Saint-Gobain is listed on the stock markets in Paris, London, Frankfort, Zurich, Brussels and Amsterdam.

For more information, visit IMTS booth D-4705, or contact Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics, 800-799-1457, www.cerbec.com.

Contact: Kate Deurloo
Tel: 860-844-5105

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