Ultra-High Vacuum Thin Section Bearings

Ultra-High Vacuum Thin Section Bearings

Date Published: Jun 04, 2021

Silverthin and the Carter Ultra High Vacuum bearing engineering team have extensive experience in ultra-high vacuum applications and are specialists in the field. Silverthin has designed and developed a range of products specifically for use in these demanding applications which require non-corrosive, clean room quality, high-temperature and non-magnetic bearings which are also light in weight and space saving. In combination with ultra-high vacuum compatible greases or a choice of various dry film lubricants, Silverthin bearings for ultra-high vacuum applications are designed to perform faultlessly even in the most extreme vacuum pressures.


The Carter Ultra-High Vacuum precision bearing team is located near Oxford a high-technology area featuring, long established world leading nuclear research facilities including UK Atomic Energy Authority, Joint European Tarus Project, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. These projects have led to a world leading commercial engineering sector supplying the ultra-high vacuum and cryogenic markets globally.


Many of Carter’s expert staff of highly trained engineers have gained their engineering experience working locally on these projects and provide customers with an unrivalled blend of experience, ability and expertise. Critically, the team also provides customers with unique access to Carter’s R&D Department, as well as a bespoke SolidWorks design programme. This is backed up with what we believe is the most advanced bearing simulation software for ultra-high vacuum applications anywhere, which all customers have access to.


Silverthin thin section bearings for ultra-high vacuum have been specified and proven with great success in a variety of applications including nano-precision position equipment, multi stage mechanical goniometers and Thermal Mass Flow Controllers – see a more comprehensive list at the foot of the page for other typical applications.


One of the key advantages of Silverthin thin section bearings for ultra-high vacuum environments is that they offer designers and manufacturers space saving characteristics which minimise the volume of vacuum space used. In addition to this they offer light weight and durability. Silverthin thin section bearings from Carter are manufactured in vacuum compatible materials including stainless steel and thin dense chrome steel. Further, a number of cage options are also available in stainless steel and PEEK, with ball separators and full complement construction. All Silverthin thin-section bearings for ultra-high vacuum can be fitted with stainless steel, ceramic or industrial ruby balls for ultimate performance, and designers can choose from several special dry film lubrication options which are vacuum compatible such as tungsten disulphide and molybdenum disulphide.


In some applications, Carter Ultra-High Vacuum engineers may recommend considering alternative bearing materials, for example ceramic or stainless steel/ceramic hybrids. Ceramic balls offer a Rockwell hardness that is typically 2 – 3 times that of steel. Various matches can be made using the most advanced bearing steels and ceramic material combinations in the casings, cages or balls, and a Carter bearing engineering expert will be able to advise on how to meet the design brief with an optimised Silverthin material selection for a given application.


High vacuum products applications that use Silverthin thin section bearings include:

  • Manipulators
  • Push pull devices
  • Robotic arms and
  • Rotary feedthroughs
  • Sample transfer arms
  • Vacuum valves
  • View ports shutters
  • Turbo-molecular pumps
  • X-Ray tubes
  • Electron scanning microscopes

More Applications

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