In any application proper attention to cage design and materials selection is essential to ensure reliable and long-term bearing performance. The role of cages, or separators as they are sometimes known, covers:
Since they may be required to accelerate rapidly, bearing cages should be lightweight and be manufactured from materials that have superior strength/weight ratios. Traditionally used brass or bronze cages have good wear characteristics but steel cages are offered which provide excellent service but at a lower cost. They are favoured in applications for harsh environmental conditions or where bearings are subject to very high levels of vibration or extremes of heat. Alternatively, in some price sensitive applications, cages manufactured from high performance plastics are preferred.
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