KMS are world leaders in the manufacture of plastic and AISI 316 Stainless steel bearings.

For more than forty years KMS has remained a world leader as a specialist in the manufacture of plastic and 316 stainless steel bearings. KMS manufactures superior precision bearings by combining advanced design, unrivalled materials knowledge and cutting edge production technology. Whatever your project, KMS will deliver a bearing that best suits your application and which provides the highest performance in a long lasting, cost efficient solution

In addition to world-class standard bearings in plastic and AISI316 stainless steel, KMS can also manufacture cost-effective, bespoke custom designs for your project. These can be economically manufactured from advanced, new generation plastic and composite materials which are designed around your application, irrespective of size. As a designer this clearly provides you with significant advantages and allows your special features to be designed and manufactured into the bearing itself, not the mating components: this can bring significant cost savings for you just as it has already for so many other customers.

Radial ball bearings in AISI 316 stainless & plastic material

Lightweight plastic bearings with special features built into the design

Ultra-light weight thin section bearings in plastic material

KMS began producing plastic and 316 stainless steel bearings specifically to overcome the problems associated with standard bearings, which are traditionally produced from 52100 steel or 440C stainless steel. Both of these materials  corrode when in contact with moisture or water, rendering these standard bearings completely unsuitable for many applications. By innovating with plastics, a new bearing material at the time, KMS allowed designers and manufacturers to realize and take advantage of a raft advantages that had never been available previously.


Plastic is five times lighter than steel, a factor which allows designers to significantly reduce the weight of a bearing whilst sustaining rotary motion with precision. Further, because a plastic bearing require less force to rotate due to the lighter weight they offer a greener more energy efficient solution.

Unlike alternative options, plastic bearings can save on running costs by being  lubrication free, and offer designers the added advantage of extreme lightness coupled with lengthy service lives. Because plastic dampens vibrations, KMS plastic bearings are virtually silent in operation. When produced from PBT, PVDF or PEEK material, standard and cost-efficient methods of sterilization such as autoclave and Gamma can be used with no effect on the bearings, providing machine designers with the opportunity to deliver substantial cost savings through reduced downtime in such hostile environments.


KMS plastic bearings are produced in acetal as standard, but for more aggressive or hostile environments designers can specify either PVDF (Kynar®, Solef®) or PEEK for the ultimate in performance. Further, and mindful of your design needs, for some applications balls can be manufactured from 316 stainless steel, glass, plastics or advanced ceramics such as silicon nitride or zirconia. As standard at KMS, all 316 steel balls are thoroughly tested to ensure that they are completely free from residual magnetic resonance present, so if you are designing equipment which is sensitive in this respect, we may have the answer you have been seeking. Please talk to us about the details and we will explain more.

If you are designer seeking superior corrosion resistance we recommend considering KMS 316 stainless steel bearings: they provide significantly higher corrosion resistance than ordinary 440 stainless steel. KMS plastic bearings are well suited for applications in which low to moderate loads are present, and the combination of their performance and lubrication free properties also make them the ideal choice for use in marine environments and industrial equipment that handles corrosive chemicals. They are also well proven for use in machinery where hostile elements including inks, rayons, photographic chemicals, paper, textiles, bleaches, and rubber will be present. Talk to a Carter bearing application specialist for expert advice and guidance if you are designing for these or similar environments.


The open design of the bearings allows for a free flow of liquid through the bearing which can act as a lubricant, an advantage which also makes KMS plastic bearings ideal for use in washdown applications

Carter has been a key partner with KMS for more than 15 extremely successful years. Carter has seen KMS bearings specified for use in the film processing industry, in medical applications, in underwater robotics, renewable energy and pharmaceutical processing machinery.


To get the best for your design contact our specialist bearing engineering experts to find out how KMS 316L and plastic bearings can provide reliable, durable and cost effective solutions

KMS bearings are only manufactured at the high-tech KMS manufacturing facility in the USA. In addition to the experts at Carter, we also have direct access to the KMS specialty engineering team who can provide us with additional first-hand expertise and knowledge for your project, including detailed drill-downs into the best designs and materials that will allow you to maximize performance and minimize cost.


The joint Carter/KMS engineering and application resource can help your design concepts transition seamlessly into reality through the integration of plastic bearings with gear profiles on inner or outer ring, and/or the integration of mounting holes as part of the inner bearing ring. Making the bearing an integrated part of your assembly saves on additional components, minimizing parts count and reducing assembly time to deliver significant cost savings.


If your project is time-sensitive please note that KMS standard and custom bearings can be supplied on very short lead times. Further, prototyping can be carried out swiftly using machining processes, and on-approval tooling can be put into place promptly to facilitate the cost effective manufacture of large-run injection molded products.

KMS was the pioneer in high precision plastic bearings, the first to bring such products to market in the 1950’s and still the global leader in both plastic and 316 stainless steel precision bearing manufacture. By allowing designers to include associated elements as part of a plastic bearing and be able to manufacture such precision assemblies in both small and large production volumes, KMS continues to help reduce both your parts count and manufacturing costs.

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“KMS Bearings has been strategically partnered with Carter Bearings - UK for over a decade delivering innovative bearing solutions. Their direct experience with MRO/OEM customers provides the technical know-how that our customers require for optimizing designs and solving bearing engineering problems. Together, we design, deliver and deploy the highest quality service, and parts that meet the needs of our customers.”

Bob Siets, Vice President Of Sales, KMS Bearings

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