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Fields of Innovation Alternative materials

Special materials for special properties

The use of alternative materials in bearing constructions as well as state of the art production technologies allow Franke bearings to be optimally adapted to the application. The material used influences properties such as:


  • the weight,
  • the load capacity and robustness,
  • the suitability for certain environments (dirt, humidity, clean room, vacuum, food).

super light


food compatible


corrosion resistant


suitable for vacuum


suitable for cleanrooms


extremely cold- and heat-resistant



NEW: Bearing assembly made of plastic (POM) with non corrosive wire race bearing

Bearing assemblies of type LVK have housing rings made of plastic (Polyoxymethylen (POM)) and are initially offered in ball pitch diameters (KKØ) of 100, 150 and 200 mm. They are equipped with non corrosive race rings and balls and therefore a cost-effective alternative to expensive stainless steel bearing assemblies. Target industries are the food industry, medical technology and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as for all applications with low load requirements. In addition to the standard series, variants with gear are offered.

60% lighter and 50% cheaper than aluminium

Technical data:

  • Inner/Outer ring: Polyoxymethylen (POM)
  • Race rings: Non corrosive steel (1.4310)
  • Rolling elements: Non corrosive steel
  • Cage: Polyamid (PA12)
  • Operating temperature: -10°C to +80°C, short-term up to +100°C
  • Peripheral speed: Max. 4 m/s
  • Lubricant: Klüber UH1 14-151 / food grade lubricant
  • Relubrication: Via grease nipple according to DIN 3405


Special features:

  • Light weight
  • Adjustable rotational resistance
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Suitable for food contact
  • Chemical resistant
  • Sea water resistant
  • Dirt resistant
  • Cost effective

Free choice of material for the bearing housing -
the Franke principle makes it possible

Aluminium - over 50 % lighter than steel

Franke has been using aluminium as a material for bearing housings for decades. This is possible because the inserted steel races of the bearing element absorb the loads and moments. By using housing components made of aluminum, the weight of conventional steel bearings can be more than halved.

Carbon (CFK) - 75 % lighter and highly resilient

The specific weight of CFRP is only about 50 percent of that of aluminium. The tremendous variety of processing possibilities for carbon fibres to produce complex materials of the highest load-bearing capacity is another reason for the popularity of CFRP in lightweight construction. Carbon housings can be fitted with aluminium sleeves for bolting to the adjacent construction. Load ratings, rigidity and temperature behaviour correspond to similar bearing assemblies made of aluminium. Franke wire race bearings can be integrated into any surrounding CFRP construction and allow the construction of extremely compact and ultra-light bearing solutions.

Plastic - 80 % lighter, durable and quiet

Plastic bearings can be made of different polymers to meet the desired requirements. Due to their low weight and smooth running, they are wear-resistant and reduce energy consumption. The forces are absorbed by the integrated wire-race bearing.


  • Excellent resistance to wear and fatigue
  • Maintenance-free
  • Resistant to corrosion and chemicals
  • 80 % lighter than steel
  • Quiet running
  • Energy efficiency

3D printing - 90 % lighter and very variable

One of the most promising technologies in the field of lightweight construction is 3D printing. This process, in which objects are built up layer by layer from individual particles, opens up completely new possibilities in construction.


  • 90 % lighter than steel
  • Honeycomb structures for minimum weight with high load capacity
  • Variable wall thicknesses allow even better adaptation to the application
  • The nature of the material within a workpiece can be varied
  • Components are quickly available in lot sizes starting from one piece
  • There are no accompanying costs for tools or devices

Amagnetic steel - for medicine and research

For special applications in medicine or research, bearings made of amagnetic steel are available. Here, the housing parts and wire raceways are made of non-magnetic steel. The preferred material for the balls of amagnetic bearings is silicon nitride (Si3N4), which is predestined for this purpose due to its special properties: it is light, high-strength and low wear.

Stainless steel - for food

Stainless steel is the material of choice for food processing and food packaging machinery. In some cases liquids are filled here and aggressive cleaning agents act on the bearings. Roller bearings made of stainless steel usually have complex seals to prevent the ingress of liquids. If this is not sufficient, raceways and rolling elements can also be made from stainless steel components.