The material of rolling bearing includes material of parts of rolling bearing, retainer, rivet and other auxiliary materials. The parts of rolling bearing is mainly made of steel which usually is high-carbon chromium steel and carburizing steel. With the development of modern science and technology and increase usage amount of bearings, there are higher requirement for bearings. For example, the bearing should have high precision, long usage life, high reliability and so on. For some bearing in special usage, it also needs to have the feature of high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, nonmagnetic, ultralow temperature resistance, radiation resistance and so on. Besides, the materials of bearing include alloy material, nonferrous metals, non-metallic material and so on. What's more, the bearing made of ceramic has applied to field of car, haulage motor, subway, aviation, spaceflight, chemicals and so on.
The performance of bearing largely decides the requirement with rolling bearing to materials. Whether the materials are suitable for the bearing influences its performance and working life a lot. Usually, the reason why rolling bearing broke down is fatigue flaking under the alternative stress and precision loss under frictional wear. Besides, the crack, indentation, corrosion and so on can also cause the bearing's abnormal damage. So, the good rolling bearing should has high ability of resistance to plastic deformation, less friction wear, good rotation and size precision, great reliability and long contact fatigue lifetime. Much performance depends on the material and technology for heating processing. The basic requirements with rolling bearing to materials depend on the bearing's destructional forms, so the materials after heat treatment should have the performance as followings:
a. High contact fatigue strength
b. High abrasive resistance
c. High elastic limit
d. Appropriate hardness
e. Certain impact toughness
f. Good dimensional stability
g. Good rust prevention
h. Good processing property
In addition, for the bearing in special usage, there are many requirements for its steel. For example, the steel should have the feature of high temperature resistance, high speed, corrosion resistance, being antimagnetic and so on.