Q: What is the purpose of the bearing retainer and what benefits accompany different retainer materi
A： The retainer (also called a cage or separator), is used to separate the balls and equally position them around the bearing raceway. Some retainer materials contain lubricant for extended bearing life. Retainers for ball bearings are generally available in two designs. The most universal is a 2-piece closed ball pocket design called a ribbon retainer. A single piece open ball pocket design is called a crown retainer. Crown retainers are available in a variety of metal and non-metal options. SUNBEARING offers 440C steel retainers in both crown and ribbon designs and machined retainers in various materials. Phenolic and Polyamide retainers for instance, are excellent options for high-speed applications. Polyamide offers additional bearing life under steam autoclave conditions but requires regular lubrication at maintenance intervals. Phenolic is very forgiving under lube-starved and low maintenance environments.
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