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Cages

For Radial Ball Bearings
For Angular Contact, Gothic Arch, or Fractured Race Ball Bearings
For Cylindrical Roller Bearings

NHBB utilizes numerous cage types consisting of different materials, manufacturing processes and configurations in order to satisfy a diverse range of application requirements. A limited number of standard cage materials such as steel, bronze, phenolic and nylon are sufficient to cover a broad spectrum of speeds and operating temperatures. In high speed, high temperature, and highly corrosive conditions, it may be necessary to specify more specialized materials such as silicon-iron bronze or steel with silver plating in order to improve performance and prolong bearing life. In high load conditions, the optimal solution may be a full ball complement-or cage-less-design. While the following information is a good starting point, our applications engineers are ready to assist you in selecting the most appropriate cage configuration for your specific application.

The most common bearing cages are shown below:

Radial Ball Bearings

Style - Pocket Type Piloting Surface
Design Material (Fabrication Method) Max. Speed [1000 dN*] Max. Operating Temp. Utility Limitations Typical Applications
2-piece ribbon, spherical pocket (clinched)
Land
R
Steel (stamped) 150 900 °F (482 °C) Compact - seal or shield clearance, low starting torque, low cost Low to moderate speeds only, high wear rate, mis-registration General purpose, industrial
Ball
RD
2-piece ribbon, spherical pocket (riveted)
Land
R4
Steel (stamped) 250 900 °F (482 °C) Compact - seal or shield clearance, low starting torque, low cost Moderate speed capability, high wear rate Motors, generators
Ball
R6
2-piece ribbon, cylindrical pocket, skirted (riveted)
Inner Land
R5
Phosphor bronze (stamped) 1,000 400 °F (204 °C) Higher speed/ strength capability, stable - tolerates higher acceleration Higher cost, ground land (ring) surfaces, limited availability - consult factory Transmission, power units
Outer Land
R7
2-piece, cylindrical pocket (riveted)
Inner Land
B1
Leaded {80-10-10} Bronze (machined) 1,000 500 °F (260 °C) High speed/ strength capability Moderate cost Gear boxes
Outer Land
B2
Inner Land
S1
Steel - silver plate (machined) 1,500 900 °F (482 °C) Higher speed/ strength capability, corrosion resistant, lubricity Higher cost - typically used with M50 rings and balls Aircraft engine gear boxes
Outer Land
S2
Outer Land
M3
Phenolic - linen base, aluminum side plates (machined) 1,000 300 °F (149 °C) High speed capability, can be impregnated with oil Moderate cost, reduced clearance - typically used with open bearings Starters, generators, high speed motors
Crown, staggered cylindrical-spherical pocket
Ball
M8
PEEK** (molded) 1,000 500 °F (260 °C) Light weight, high temperature/strength capability, abrasion resistant Higher cost, limited availability - consult factory High reliability, aerospace - power transmission
Crown, spherical pocket
Ball
M7
PA*** - glass reinforced (molded) 300 300 °F (149 °C) Flexible - tolerates misalignment, low noise, abrasion/ impact resistant Low cost/high volume, hygroscopic (3%), limited availability - consult factory Industrial, electric motors, munitions
Crown, cylindrical pocket
Inner Land
KE
Phenolic - linen base (machined) 600 300 °F (149 °C) Lower mass-less centrifugal deflection, porous - can be impregnated with oil Limited compatibility, hygroscopic, outgasses in a vacuum Medical, machine tools, rotary joints, etc.
Outer Land
KF
Inner Land
M6
PA*** - glass reinforced (molded) 300 300 °F (149 °C) Flexible - tolerates misalignment, low noise, abrasion/ impact resistant Low cost/high volume, hygroscopic (3%), limited availability - consult factory Industrial, electric motors, munitions

Please note: Additional cage designs and materials are available. Consult the factory for assistance.

† See page 7 of our Roller and Ball Bearings Design Guide for alphanumeric part number code.

* dN = bore (in millimeters) x rpm.

** PEEK = Polyetheretherketone is a high-melt-temperature thermoplastic.

*** PA = Polyamide (a.k.a. Nylon or Nylon 6/6) is a high-melt-temperature thermoplastic.

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Angular Contact, Gothic Arch and Fractured Race Ball Bearings

Style Pocket-Type
Piloting Surface
Design Material (Fabrication Method) Max Speed [1000 dN*] Max. Operating Temp. Utility Limitations Typical Applications
1-piece, cylindrical pocket
Land
ME
PEEK** (molded) 1,000 500 °F (260 °C) Light weight, high temperature/strength capability, tough, abrasion resistant High cost, limited availability - consult factory High reliability, aerospace - power transmission
Inner Land
KM
Phenolic - linen base (machined) 1,500 300 °F (149 °C) Quiet running, porous - can be impregnated with oil Limited compatibility, hygroscopic, outgasses in a vacuum Spindles, high speed motors, robotic joints
Outer Land
KV
Land
MN
PA*** - glass filled (molded) 750 300 °F (149 °C) Quiet running, abrasion/impact resistant Low cost/high volume, hygroscopic (3%), limited availability - consult factory Motors, spindles, general purpose
MX

Bronze**** (machined)

1,500
500 °F (260 °C) Thin cross section, higher ball groove shoulders, high speed/ strength capability High cost Power transmission, aircraft accessories
M2
Steel - silver plate (machined) 3,000 900 °F (482 °C) Higher speed/ strength capability, corrosion resistant, lubricity Higher cost Aircraft accessories, high speed transmission
1-piece, cylindrical pocket, with ball retention

Typical - retention feature located opposite piloting surface
Inner Land
MP
Leaded (80-10-10) bronze (machined) 1,000 350 °F (177 °C) Moderate speed/strength capability Moderate cost Pumps, actuators, accessory gear boxes
Outer Land
MQ
Inner Land
B5
Silicon-iron bronze (machined) 2,000 500 °F (260 °C) High speed/ strength capability Higher cost Gear boxes
Outer Land
B6
Inner Land
S3
Steel - silver plate (machined) 3,000 900 °F (482 °C) Higher speed/ strength capability, corrosion resistant, lubricity Higher cost High reliability mainshaft bearings, gear boxes
Outer Land
S4
Outer Land
KS
Phenolic - linen base (machined) 1,500 300 °F (149 °C) Quiet running, porous - can be impregnated with oil Limited compatibility, hygroscopic, outgasses in a vacuum Motors, spindles

Please note: Additional cage designs and materials are available. Consult the factory for assistance.

† See page 7 of our Roller and Ball Bearings Design Guide for alphanumeric part number code.

* dN = bore (in millimeters) x rpm.

** PEEK = Polyetheretherketone is a high-melt-temperature thermoplastic.

*** PA = Polyamide (a.k.a. Nylon or Nylon 6/6) is a high-melt-temperature thermoplastic.

**** Types other than 80-10-10 (leaded bronze) are assigned a special design (SD) number. See Ball Bearing Part Numbering System on page 7 of our Roller and Ball Bearings Design Guide.

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Cylindrical Roller Bearings

Style-Pocket Type Piloting Surface
Design Material (Fabrication Method) Max. Speed-dN* Max. Operating Temp Utility Limitations Typical Applications
1-piece, rectangular pocket, with roller retention

Typical - retention feature located opposite piloting surface
Land
S
Steel - silver plate (machined) 3,000 900 °F (482 °C) Higher speed/ strength capability, corrosion resistant, lubricity High cost Mainshafts, gear boxes
B
Leaded {80-10-10} bronze (machined) 1,000 350 °F (177 °C) Moderate strength/ speed capability Moderate cost Pumps and Accessories
Silicon-iron bronze (machined) 1,500 500 °F (260 °C) High speed/ strength capability Moderate cost Gear boxes
P
PEEK** (molded) 1,000 500 °F (260 °C) Light weight, high temperature/strength capability, tough, abrasion resistant High cost, limited availability - consult factory High reliability, aerospace - power transmission
1-piece, rectangular pocket, with roller retention

Typical - retention feature located opposite piloting surface
Land
S
Steel - silver plate (machined) 3,000 900 °F (482 °C) Higher speed/ strength capability, corrosion resistant, lubricity High cost Mainshafts, gear boxes
B
Leaded {80-10-10} bronze (machined) 1,000 350 °F (177 °C) Moderate strength/ speed capability Moderate cost Pumps and Accessories
Silicon-iron bronze (machined) 1,500 500 °F (260 °C) High speed/ strength capability Moderate cost Gear boxes
P
PEEK** (molded) 1,000 500 °F (260 °C) Light weight, high temperature/strength capability, tough, abrasion resistant High cost, limited availability - consult factory High reliability, aerospace - power transmission

† Typical nomenclature that corresponds to material type only. Other distinguishing features are defined according to a unique dash number. See Roller Bearing Part Numbering System on page 6 of our Roller and Ball Bearings Design Guide.
S = Steel with silver plate
B = Bronze
P = Plastic

* dN = bore (in millimeters) x rpm.

** PEEK = Polyetheretherketone, a high-melt-temperature thermoplastic.

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