Inside any bearing cages have the purpose to keep the rolling elements at an appropriate distance from each other and to prevent direct contact between neighbouring rolling elements, in order to keep friction and thus heat generation at a minimum. Furthermore, through the cage, a proper load distribution is reached in the bearing, assuring quite and uniform running.
However cages are mechanically stressed by frictional, strain and inertia forces and may also be subjected to the chemical action of certain lubricants, lubricant additives, solvents or coolants. Therefore the design and material are of paramount importance for the performance of the cage as well as for the operational reliability of the bearing itself. ICT can offer various cage types and designs of different materials for the different bearing types.
Pressed cages are produced starting from steel sheet (in some case salso from brass sheet) and pressing it in high precision presses, with very special tooling. ICT can offer ribbon-type brass or steel cages, riveted steel cages, snap type brass or steel cage and window-type steel cages. They have the advantage of lower weight and more space inside the bearing, that is an important point to facilitate the entrance of lubricant into the bearing itself.
ICT offers also solid cages made from brass, steel, light alloy, polymer or fabric reinforced phenolic resin. Types are huge: two-pieces machined riveted cage, two-pieces machined cage with integral rivets, one-piece machined window-type cage, double pronged machined cage, injection moulded polymer window-type cage, injection moulded polymer snap-type cage and one-piece machined cage of fabric reinforced phenolic resin. They generally allow higher speeds than pressed cages and are necessary when conditions of high acceleration are important in application. ICT solid polymer cages represent a perfect combination of strength and elasticity, ideal in many conditions.
Furthermore ICT can provide steel pin-type cages, used with pierced rollers, typically in large-sized roller bearings. These cages have relative low weight and enable a large number of rollers being incorporated.
ICT can also offer PEEK cages and other high-tech plastic materials cage. Specifically PEEK is an excellent material to guarantee low friction, high flexibility, wide temperature and possibility to manufacture even complex designs.
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