Bearings operating at high temperatures can be a problem for many reasons, including loss of radial clearance, lubricant degradation, and microstructural changes of ring and rolling element materials resulting in loss of hardness and dimensional instability. These and other problems associated with high operating temperatures can be resolved with specialized heat treatment of rings, internal design considerations and proper material choices.
All bearings have temperature limits. Usually the material weakens above a certain temperature and the bearing can no longer handle any meaningful load or speed. Provided a suitable lubricant is used, chrome steel bearings can handle temperatures up to 150°C while 440 grade stainless steel bearings can be used at temperatures of up to 300°C, full ceramic bearings can be used at temperatures of up to 1000°C.
These bearings are customized for use in applications such as: