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What Are ABEC Ratings?

March 6, 2015 by Christine Berlly

3D_CAD_Engineering_and_Design_Services_at_AST_BearingsEver hear of the ABEC scale and wonder what its ratings entail? Read on!

The ABEC scale gives you a good indicator of the type of bearing that you are purchasing. Bearings rated high on the scale will allow for optimal performance of critical applications requiring very high RPM and smooth operation. Think: high ABEC rating equals high precision application.

The ABEC scale is an industry accepted standard for the tolerances of a ball bearing, and it was developed by the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee (ABEC) of the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA). There are five classes, going from widest tolerances to tightest: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Higher ABEC classes provide better precision, efficiency, and greater speed capabilities, but do not necessarily mean that the bearing can spin faster.

Additionally, the ABEC rating does not specify many other critical factors, such as smoothness of the rolling contact surfaces, ball precision, and material quality.

See AST’s white paper on this subject for an indepth discussion on closures entitled, “Bearing Tolerances and Precision Levels – ABEC Tolerances.”

Have another bearing-related question? Our team of tribological experts is ready to assist, reach us anytime here.


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