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Why Thin Section Bearings Make Sense for Military Applications

Why Thin Section Bearings Make Sense for Military Applications

May 21, 2019

No matter whether they’re for combat, surveillance, or some other type of task, bearings made for military applications need to perform. Between tough environments and demanding designs, military organizations must find bearings that not only meet exacting part requirements, but also surpass them. Fortunately, quality thin section bearings are up to that task for many different military applications.

What are Thin Section Bearings Used for in Military Applications?

Thin section bearings are a natural fit for a variety of military needs. One area of need that’s grown considerably over the years is custom bearings made for robotics. Military robots perform a wide range of tasks – bomb defusing, scouting, etc. – and these applications require thin section bearings to meet performance and space needs.

In addition to robotics, thin section bearings offer solutions for military applications ranging from miniguns and turrets to cameras mounted on various structures and helicopters. If it requires smooth, efficient, and powerful performance in a small package, thin section bearings are a natural choice for the military.

Specific Pain Points for Military Bearings

As mentioned before, space and weight are typically at a premium for military applications. In addition to these issues, there are a variety of other specific needs that military applications require, each of which can play a big role in finding the right bearing supplier.

Special bearing options

Some level of part customization is typical for bearings used in the military market. Lots of parts require special clearances or loads, while other may need different balls or cages to meet performance and environment needs. As a result, it’s important to find a supplier that offers the following bearing options:

DFARS compliance

Any business that wants to work with the Department of Defense (DoD) needs to be DFARS compliant. DFARS – also known as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement – is a specific set of rules that dictate how entities in the U.S. government procure goods and services.

When it comes to material goods like thin section bearings, DFARS dictates that the raw materials used in these products come from domestic or specific, DFARS-approved countries. This can limit part options, as bearings made with materials from non-DFARS countries like China will not comply with DoD rules and prevent them from buying your products. As a result, the thin section bearings you invest in should be DFARS compliant for any business related to the DoD or other government organizations.

Turnaround times

Who doesn’t want their parts as soon as possible? The military market is no different, which means that it’s always good to compare turnaround times for bearings, especially if they’re being custom designed. Fortunately, thin section bearings are typically manufactured more quickly than other bearings styles, with lead times that average six to eight weeks for standard sizes. This allows you to get the parts you need sooner so you can get your products to market or avoid additional downtime depending on your application.

Work with SSB for Your Military-Grade Bearings

It takes a good bearing supplier to find the best solutions for your military applications. SSB provides quality bearing products that are made in the U.S. and are DFARS compliant (CAGE # 704Q7). Whether you need a standard or custom thin section bearing, our experts can work with you to understand your specific needs for your military applications. Contact us today to have SSB help you solve your next bearing project.

Three Considerations for Food Grade Bearings

Three Considerations for Food Grade Bearings

October 2, 2017

The right bearing solution can depend on your industry. A market like food processing has several specific requirements that can affect not only the types of bearing you choose, but also several other key details that can impact your decision. Here are three things that play a crucial role in deciding which bearings are right for your food grade applications.

Use Food Grade Materials

Not all materials are best suited for the food industry. It’s important that you consider bearings made with materials that are resistant to corrosion and any potential chemicals that may be used. Materials like stainless steel or bearings with nickel plating can be a big help for food industry applications.

Only Use Seals and Shields that Make Sense for Your Environment

Wash downs are normal in food processing, which means a good seal is important. The right bearing seal or shield can keep unwanted fluid or contaminants out of your bearings. Of course, this also means that these seals and shields also need to be approved for used around food products. If a seals or shield contaminates your products, it's of no use to you. Make sure that every part of your bearings is graded for use in your environments so that your products and your bearings stay safe.

Invest in Food-Grade Lubrication

Like seals and shields, lubricants play an important part in the long-term success of your applications. However, they can also pose a problem if you don't use the right lubrication.

Food grade bearings require special lubrication for a few reasons. First, these lubricants can be subject to high pressure areas, frequent wash downs, and harsh environments. Also, it also needs to be graded for safe use in these environments in case it ever comes into contact with food. It's important to think about where your bearings will be sued to identify certain standards for your food grade lubricant options.

Find the Right bearings for Food Grade Environments

Even after you identify your needs, it can be difficult to choose the right bearing solution for your applications. Slim Section Bearings can help you find the right thin section bearings based on your needs, whether it’s a standard, available part or a custom food grade bearing. Contact us today to talk to our experts about the bearings you need for your applications.