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Material Innovation



Having the foresight to use currently available materials in innovative ways has changed product designs throughout history. Opportunities for improvement exist with any design and below are some of the advancements made by introducing new ideas to an existing problem.

Throughout history many major industrial and technological advances have owed themselves to the creative application of a new material to an old problem. Looking back to our earliest advancements, entire periods of human history like The Stone Age and The Bronze Age are known for the material that was commonly applied. Just as the application of papyrus as a medium for capturing written communication (in place of stone or wood) led to transportable and widely available knowledge and information, the application of silicon as a semiconductor has dramatically increased computing capacity and availability in our lifetime. These new applications of available materials and the advancements they supported lead to revolutions in the way humans live and work and are foundational to our way of life today.

Many innovations have been made in bearing applications ranging from deep earth mining to space exploration by putting available materials to use in new ways. From Ceramic to Stellite, Stainless Steel to Sapphire, the problems solved are as diverse as the materials applied. From the wooden roller bearings used by ancient civilizations to the aerospace materials of today, the selection of available materials continues to increase. Will the innovation that changes the rules and competitive landscape in your industry come from you? It may be as simple as applying one of these specialty materials to your challenging problem. What is the challenge in your most difficult application? Corrosion, heat and excessive wear are all factors that existing bearing materials overcome for specific applications. Below is a list of common bearing materials and their basic advantages.

Material Specification Features and Advantages Hardness Rc Operating Temp. Limit F°
52100 AMS 6444 Low cost and good wear properties 58-65 Up to 400° *
440 C AMS 5618 Low cost, good wear properties and corrosion resistance 56-62 Up to 825° *
DD 400 N/A Low cost and premium finish and corrosion resistance 58-62 350°
17-4 PH AMS 5643 Good machinability, high strength and corrosion resistance 28-42 Up to 572° *
M50 AMS 6491 Excellent fatigue properties and high temperature capabilities 60-64 975°
BG42® AMS 5749 Corrosion resistance and high temperature capabilities 61-65 950°
Nitrogen enriched steel AMS 5898 Extreme corrosion resistance 60-64 850°
Cobalt-based alloys AMS 5759 Chemical resistance and high temperature stability 50 (min.) 1000°
Stellite® AMS 5894 Corrosion Resistance, good wear properties and high temperature capabilities 33-43  930°
M50 NiL AMS 6278 Can be carburized, high fracture toughness and high temperature capabilities Case hardness: 60 (min.) 975°

* Depending on heat treat method 
BG42 is a registered trademark of Latrobe Steel Company.
STELLITE is a registered trademark of DELORO STELLITE COMPANY, INC. 

If you have a difficult application or recurring bearing problem please contact your NPB sales rep to discuss a new material solution today.

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