By: ThaiDesign (offline) Thursday, 13 May 2010 @ 09:57 AM ICT
A ceramic bearing ball is two-thirds the weight of a steel ball. The surface of the ceramic ball is nonporous and mirror-like. By themselves, the ceramic balls are so smooth, indestructible and glass-surface perfect that they do not need lubrication. But the steel races they ride in do. What the lighter, ultra-smooth and perfectly round balls do is make it easier for the bearing to accelerate.
The light and smooth balls spin without hesitation and drag. By reducing bearing drag, you create horsepower. Ceramic bearings are not pie-in-the-sky technology. They are in use today on the motorcycles of the race stars. Most of the professional race teams you see around the race-track are using ceramic main bearings. Ceramic bearings are three to four times more expensive than steel bearings.
For the question are they worth the money - yes I believe so.
Generally speaking, one can expect 2 to 5 times longer life from ceramic bearings for most applications, but it is highly dependent on operating conditions, bearing design, etc…
Compared to steel balls, Ceramic balls are lighter, smoother, stiffer, harder, corrosion resistant, and electrically resistant. These fundamental characteristics allow for a wide range of performance enhancements in bearings.