Two types of angular contact ball bearings for machine tools having steel rings and silicon nitride balls were tested and the temperature rise was compared with that of conventional steel ball bearings with grease lubrication and oil-air lubrication as well. Experimental results indicated that the temperature rise of silicon nitride ball bearings was much lower than that of steel ball bearings at high speeds. Calculations made using a computer demonstrated that the reduction of gyroscopic moments and centrifugal forces acting on balls because of the low density of silicon nitride resulted in about 30 to 50 percent less frictional loss at high speeds even with low-cost lubrication such as grease or oil-air.

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