Sealed bearing cartridges such as those from GGB Bearing Technology, Thorofare, N.J., are cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional bronze, hardened-steel, and rolling-element bearings. The key component in the cartridge is the filament-wound bearing, which can be made of either GAR-MAX or HSG, and each provides different operating ranges. Being self-lubricating, the cartridge needs no grease, making the unit maintenancefree. Cartridges are available to handle loads up to 90,000 lb/in.2 and come in sizes ranging from 1-in. ID with a 1.75-in. OD to 4-in. ID with a 4.875-in. OD. They accommodate shafts or pins ranging from 1 to 4 in. (25 to 100 mm) in diameter.

For best performance, the manufacturer recommends shafts and pins have hardnesses greater than 50 Rc and surface finishes of 8 to 16 in. after plating. The manufacturers also recommend potential users consult them for engineering support.

The cartridges are sealed, so contaminants are not a problem. And because they are not metal, there is no galling of the shaft or pin, or corrosion. The dimensionally stable cartridges absorb little water and do not swell. The units also withstand shocks and edge loading.

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