Ceramic Hybrid Bearings for Snowmobiles
A racers' secret for years, ceramic hybrid bearings are now available from Maxceleration Racing at an affordable cost.
These bearings are called ceramic hybrid because they use ceramic (silicon nitride Si3N4) balls inside of 52100 chrome steel inner and outer rings. By replacing the steel balls with ceramic, bearing performance is radically improved in several ways.
Because ceramic balls are 60% lighter than steel balls, and because their surface finish is almost perfectly smooth, they exhibit vibration levels two to seven times lower than conventional steel ball bearings. Ceramic hybrid bearings also run at a significantly lower operating temperatures, allowing running speeds to increase by as much as 40% to 50%. Lower operating temperatures help extend lubricant life and reduce corrosion. Bearing temperatures can rise even in snowmobile applications lending to decreased performance and increased wear and corrosion. Bearings with ceramic balls have been proven to outlast conventional steel ball bearings. Because of the unique properties of silicon nitride, ceramic balls drastically reduce the predominant cause of surface wear in conventional bearings (metal rings / metal balls). In conventional bearings, microscopic surface asperities on balls and races will "cold weld" or stick together even under normal lubrication and load conditions. As the bearing rotates, the microscopic cold welds break, producing roughness and, eventually, worn contact surfaces. This characteristic is know as adhesive wear. Since ceramic balls will not cold weld to steel rings, wear is dramatically reduced and performance increased. Because wear particles generated by adhesive wear are not present in ceramic hybrids, lubricant life is also prolonged.
A note on C ratings:
Bearing C ratings refer to internal clearances or play in the bearing. C0 - The standard for applications where the normally recommended fit, and under normal operating conditions, leave the correct clearance. C3 bearings have a greater clearance and play than C0.