In applications lubricated by water or process fluid, bearing materials need to be both chemically resistant to the fluid and able to operate with thin films.
With clean fluid, polymer bearings provide an inert solution with high load capacity. Solid polymer bearings can handle loads up to 10 MPa (1500 psi) in clean water and have been used successfully in reverse osmosis pumps, boiler feed pumps and mine-dewatering pumps.
Where abrasives are present, ceramic/cermet bearings provide a durable option, without requiring a filter system. For this reason, they have been used extensively in water injection pumps in the North Sea.
Ceramic/cermet bearings are also resistant to most chemicals and retain their mechanical properties and load carrying capacity over a greater range of temperatures than polymers.
Polymer Capabilities Ceramic Capabilities