Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination


Bearing steels, which include high-carbon and low-carbon types, can be divided into service-based classes, such as normal service, high-temperature service, and service under corrosive conditions. This article discusses the importance of matching the hardenability and quenching of a bearing steel. It also discusses the typical microstructure of a high-carbon through-hardened bearing, and shows typical case and core microstructures in carburized bearing materials. Apart from a satisfactory microstructure, which is obtained through the proper combination of steel grade and heat treatment, the single most important factor in achieving high levels of rolling-contact fatigue life in bearings is the cleanliness, or freedom from harmful nonmetallic inclusions, of the steel. Alloy conservation and a more consistent heat-treating response are benefits of using specially designed bearing steels. The selection of a carburizing steel for a specific bearing section is based on the heat-treating practice of the producer, either direct quenching from carburizing or reheating for quenching, and on the characteristics of the quenching equipment.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal