Q. What are the advantages of using ceramic balls vs. steel balls in radial bearings?
A. Although silicon nitride ceramic balls do not have as high a toughness or ductility as 51200 steel balls, they are much more durable. Ceramic balls are more than 60% lighter, more than 50% stiffer, more than 70% smoother and have a more than 100x better rolling contact fatigue life in comparison. They also allow for much higher speeds, are more corrosion resistant and operate at a lower temperature, thus extending the life of the lubricant.