Ceramic Bearings

Hard Surfaces at High Temperatures

Waukesha Bearings applies ceramic and cermet (ceramic-metallic composite) materials to thrust and journal bearing designs to extend bearing capabilities in applications where traditional materials and polymers fall short.

The extremely hard surfaces of ceramic/cermet bearings can handle corrosive materials, contaminated lubricant and temperatures beyond the limits of polymers and traditional materials.

Ceramic thrust and journal bearings for water injection pumps

Oil, Water or Process Lubrication

Ceramic/cermet bearings are used successfully in many oil-, water- and process-lubricated pump applications.

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. Where abrasives are present, ceramic/cermet bearings provide a durable option.

The use of ceramic/cermet requires deliberate material selection for both the rotating and stationary surfaces, especially when abrasives are present or films are extremely thin.
Hidrax HT tilt pad thrust bearing for electric submersible pumps (ESPs) in SAGD wells


  • Retain mechanical properties and load carrying capacity over a wide range of temperatures, including extremely cold and hot environments
  • Compatible with very thin hydrodynamic films and low-viscosity lubricants
  • Resistant to most chemicals, including hydrogen sulphide and ammonia
  • Harder than common abrasives, such as sand
  • Prevent bearing damage by crushing abrasive debris in the lubricant

Intro to Bearing Materials

The selection of the bearing materials plays a significant role in the performance of fluid film bearings. Load, speed, operating temperature, insulation requirements, and lubricant type and cleanliness may all play into the material choice.

Download our “Introduction to Fluid Film Bearing Materials” for an overview of material characteristics, benefits and limitations in fluid film bearing use.

Download the White Paper