New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc. (NHBB) Precision Division in Chatsworth, California recently introduced the industry's first ultra-high speed bearing with anti-bacterial properties. Ball bearings are an integral part of all rotational cutting tools used in surgical practice, medical and dental offices. The antimicrobial properties of the element silver have been used for more than 100 years to control bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus in medical and food applications. According to recent studies, up to 4% of all post-surgery complications are associated with surgical tools contaminated with bacteria.

NHBB Precision Division engineers have integrated antimicrobial silver plating into its patented Composite Metal Polymer Retainer. The silver plated machined polymer retainer has been primarily tested in bearings used for dental handpieces, with additional research and development on-going for medical devices. The test results confirm that this technology is unique in that it can extend the operational life of a medical or dental bearing, in addition to having a significant impact on the battle against hospital-related infections.

Introducing the antimicrobial properties of silver into ultra-precision miniature and instrument bearings used in a dental or medical application can potentially arrest the spread of bacteria. According to Alan Paynter, NHBB Precision Division Sales Manager, "With our broad range of engineered solutions, including bearing construction types, proprietary retainer designs and an extensive offering of coatings and platings we can meet most application challenges."

In addition to its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, the composite metal polymer retainer increases the bearing operational life by up to 70% in any application requiring maintenance free and reliable operation in extreme environments. These applications are typically high speed with minimal lubrication and require repeated sterilization (autoclaving). The silver plated retainer assists in overcoming traditional lubrication problems by combining the solid-film lubricating properties of the silver with the strength and durability of the polymer. The retainer features excellent anti-friction properties, good thermal stability and low moisture absorption.

Paynter continued, "We have been successfully designed into more FDA approved applications than any other bearing manufacturer, by offering continued product innovation and unsurpassed quality in products and services."

Pete Smith, Marketing Coordinator
New Hampshire Ball Bearings
175 Jaffrey Road
Peterborough, NH 03458
Phone: (603) 924-4100