BY DANIELLE COLLINS
In a round shaft linear bearing system, the shaft acts as the inner raceway of the bearing and plays a significant role in the wear and life of the system.
Both recirculating and plain linear bearings can use a wide variety of shaft materials, depending on the application or environmental requirements. Shafts for recirculating linear bearings are typically made of bearing-grade carbon steel or stainless steel. Likewise, plain linear bearing systems can use carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum shafts. And for very harsh environments or special conditions, shafts can be plated or coated to withstand caustic or abrasive contaminants.
When choosing which type of shaft to use in a linear bearing
application, the two most important factors that contribute to bearing wear and life are the shaft’s surface finish and hardness.