Materials used in Bearings

Bearings are made of many different materials, and many of these materials function more effectively in certain applications than others. Take a minute to learn about the many different types of materials bearings can be made of:

1. Chrome Steel – SAE 52100

This is the most common material used for precision ball bearings, roller bearings, and tapered roller bearings. This still has a high level of carbon within it and contains about 1.5% chromium.

These bearings have a high resistance to cracking and a hard surface, which helps them to resist wear and tear from rolling.

2. Extra Clean 52100 Chrome Steel

This type of steel is used to create precision miniature bearings. It is processed with additional melting steps. The resulting bearing is extremely quiet. Most often, the hardening process is done in a controlled atmosphere furnace. The resulting product can operate at temperatures up to 120°C.

SAE 52100 is by far the best general purpose steel for making bearings. It hardens to a very high level and has a long life when actually in use. However, the low chromium level of 1.5% means these bearings are not very resistant to corrosion.

3. Martensitic Stainless Steel – AISI 440C

This type of bearing has higher carbon content. The lower carbon content results in a softer material, however, it does allow for these bearings to be magnetic.

These bearings are slightly nosier than others, but they are able to operate at high temperatures of up to 250°C.

4. Martensitic Stainless Steel – 440C – ACD34

This material has smaller carbides in order to minimize noise, while also offering the same corrosion resistance as 440C. This is one of the most widely used materials for bearings, and it can bear similar loads to that of chrome steel.

5. Austenitic Stainless Steel

Bearing components made from this type of stainless steel have a high resistance to corrosion and are non-magnetic because they are made with low amounts of carbon. However, this material cannot be hardened, so it only works with low loads and low speeds.

These bearings are typically a special order and also carry a higher cost.


Green Collar Jobs

What is a green collar job anyway?

You have heard the term green collar job discussed thousands of times lately by politicians, business leaders, union spokespeople and environmentalists. No other discussion (except the financial crisis) seems to have received as much media coverage — but what is all the fuss about?

In the United States, President Obama has promised to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years top create 5 million new green jobs, and he is not the only one to see the move to a low carbon economy as the answer.

In Europe political leaders have been promoting the creation of renewable energy jobs as a necessary step in the drive to reduce carbon emissions, and as one of the key levers in fighting the current worldwide economic crisis. In the UK, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised that this month’s Budget will be a “job creator, a quality of life improver, and an environment-enhancing measure” outlining a “green” path to economic revival. Brown has previously stated 400,000 new green jobs could be created over the next eight years if the UK transitions to a low carbon economy. But what is green collar? What makes it different from blue or white collar? Why does it matter? And why does the issue appear so controversial?

Some more sceptical have argued that the term green collar jobs is little more than “green washing” and a term used by politicians for political ends; they argue that actually green jobs are no different or perhaps less efficient than the blue collar jobs they are replacing. This is an argument that is sure to rage on for some time.

For all the talk of green jobs, there is probably equal confusion about what actually qualifies as a green job.

If an employee is working for a car manufacturer on a sports car: blue collar. If the same worker at the same company is working on a hybrid does is that a green collar job?

Phil Angelides, Chair of the Apollo Alliance (a coalition of environmental groups, labour unions and politicians promoting the low carbon economy) states that to be green a job “has to pay decent wages and benefits that can support a family. It has to be part of a real career path, with upward mobility. And it needs to reduce waste and pollution and benefit the environment.”

His colleague and Chief Executive of the Apollo Alliance Lucy Blake adds “A green collar job is in essence a blue-collar job that has been upgraded to address the environmental challenges of our country.”

Van Jones, social activist and advisor to President Obama says a green job is “a family-supporting, career-track job that directly contributes to preserving or enhancing environmental quality.” Jones’s site Green For All adds “most green collar jobs are middle-skill jobs requiring more education than high school, but less than a four-year degree — and are well within reach for lower-skilled and low-income workers as long as they have access to effective training programs and appropriate supports”.

So in the end does the definition really matter? Possibly, but certainly not quite as much as the important issues of unemployment, economic recovery, climate change, energy security and peak oil, which the push for a low carbon economy seeks to address.

Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club state that green jobs are a victory for the environment and for workers. The founder of, the global green job site, Sam Newell agrees. “To me it’s quite simple, green collar jobs are good for the worker and good for the environment and that can’t be bad.” He argues “comparing the efficiency of green collar jobs with. Those in other sectors of manufacturing or perhaps old energy doesn’t quite add up. You are comparing apples and oranges; they are not like for like. It’s pointless to compare them using one measure such as energy output per employee. You need to take a range of important factors such as carbon production and environmental impact into consideration which none of these arguments appears to do.”

Green collar jobs are already a growing part of the global economy. As demand has risen for clean energy and environmentally responsible manufacturing, green workers are producing everything from wind turbines to electric cars to organic clothing and food.

With the serious issues of climate change and the development of affordable, secure and sustainable energy sources for all it looks like the green job is here to stay regardless which definition you subscribe to.

Article Author Sam Newell is a renewable energy jobs recruitment specialist and the founder of the job site for the global green energy sector.

Green Jobs Give Hope to the Unemployed

All across the nation, local trade schools and colleges are teaching the unemployed about green technologies. They’re learning to perform solar panel installations and repairs, wind turbine maintenance, and all manner of other services relating to renewable energy. The Federal stimulus package, which provides tens of billions of dollars for renewable energy sources, is allowing colleges to expand their curriculum to provide that training. Both unemployed workers and the schools themselves are hopeful that the Obama administration’s dedication to alternative energy will soon bring millions of good jobs for non-degree workers. Amongst those new jobs will be the thousands to be employed to retrofit Federal buildings and public housing projects so that they comply with higher energy efficiency standards.

According to the American Solar Energy Society, renewable energy generated some 500,000 jobs, producing some $43 billion in domestic revenues during 2007. Energy-efficiency was responsible for 8.6 million jobs and $1 trillion in revenues during that same year. The ASES’ study projects that somewhere bertween 16 million and 37 million jobs will be created in these industries by 2030. The range is expected to depend upon the Federal administration’s policies regarding Green energy. All in all, a very promising future!

Nothing is guaranteed, though, including Green employment in the future. With or without a degree, much still depends on both Industry and the demands of the public. If a corporation determines that it is even marginally more cost-effective to continue to use dirty techologies, unless there is an incentive earmarked for them, chances are that they’ll continue to pollute and forego the costs of upgrading their facilities.

We’re of the belief that renewable energy is our only future. You build it, they will come.

The Argument For Investing In Green Energy Sources

Fifteen years ago, no savvy investor would have touched alternative or renewable energy resources — and rightly so.  The technology wasn’t able to pass muster.  It was clunky, unreliable and unnecessarily expensive.  Worse yet, it had virtually no support in the mainstream.  That was 1994, and the world was a very different place.

Today’s savvy investors are looking for something reliable, secure, safe and promising, the same as any other day. But what a difference a decade makes in today’s world! Today’s investors who are looking at the long haul, are looking at alternative energy. Huge investments come from what may seem to be some of the most unlikely places.

The Middle-east, for example, seems to be betting against themselves. They’ve sunk tens and scores of billions of dollars into investments in alternative energy technologies, and not to buy and bury them either. Hundreds of millions each in endowments and grants to the likes of M.I.T. (and just about every other prestigious university on the planet, it turns out,) were just the beginning. Masdar, a zero-carbon-footprint city sleeping 50,000 residents and a total of 90,000 people during the day, shows every indication of becoming a functional reality within a decade. Those wiz kids and profs they’ve invested in will be providing some of the technological advances needed to pull it off, and the Arabs don’t even have proprietary rights to the technologies. They just know a good idea when they see it, and are resolved to have a big place at the table as times change.

It’s not just guys in thobes with long beards and lots of money though. It’s also Wall Street, and Pickens, and Bill Gates, and just about anybody with more than a few nickels to rub together and the vision to see what ought to be the obvious truths:

  • We ARE going to run out of oil, so alternative energy solutions aren’t optional.

  • The list of people in favor of green is long and distinguished, and profitable.

  • The alternative-source energy market is climbing steadily, undiminished by even radical market fluctuations on the petroleum front.

  • Projections suggest a need for $26 trillion (in 2007 dollars) to be invested from 2007 to 2030, in energy infrastructure alone.

Whoever funds the need is going to make out like a bandit. Funding Green isn’t just some cute little philanthropy anymore. You don’t need to be any kind of tree-hugger to see that Green is good business.

Booming Solar: Hope for the New Year!

Our last article for the year is good news. Amidst an economy that has been said to be in a depression, there’s one industry that’s doing quite well, in a place where it’s least expected — up on the roofs.  Solar panel sales are booming. Leading sales and installation companies are reporting a 45% increase in sales, and anticipating creating over 100,000 new jobs each, within the next few years. That doesn’t begin to address the other jobs created in manufacturing and distribution of the panels. Great news, but there is a catch.

Many of these installations are made feasible by government rebates. One job was sold at $66,000, but the homeowner recouped over $40,000 of that, making his net cost about $22,000. Who wouldn’t want a solar electric system for 1/3 of the regular price? But the money to pay those rebates has to be coming from somewhere, and that somewhere seems to be the taxpayers themselves. While we’re glad that people are getting with the program, at least one state has declared that they’re out of funds, cannot afford to issue any more rebates, which could bring the momentum to a grinding halt if more incentive funds and lower consumer costs aren’t sorted out soon.

President-Elect Obama has talked about the government getting involved in rebooting the economy. Most of his talk has involved shoring up bridges and roads, and that may be long overdue, but it would be wise to put a large chunk of that revitalization into things which will increase our independence from foreign fuel while reducing the carbon footprint. If his administration focuses on Green industries, millions of new jobs could be created in producing the technology domestically alone. Pivotal to it all is Alternative Energy proving affordable to install and cost-effective in the long run. Luckily, improvements in solar technology are coming in fast and furious, and cost reductions can be expected right behind them.

As we say goodbye to 2008 and make our New Year resolutions, let’s keep Going Green in mind, make the idea central to our plans. As we welcome the Obama administration into the Oval Office, let’s make sure that he knows he has our full support for economic stimulus and incentives that propel our nation towards a more Green and prosperous tomorrow.

Wishing you all a very happy new year,

Going Green News

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Sally Struthers, Is That You?

Solar Aid has embarked upon an Internet ad campaign to raise donations to provide solar power devices to impoverished nations in parts of Africa. They lead off with “Imagine a world where everyone has access to affordable, clean, renewable power.” Alongside the text is a picture of a young black boy, shading his eyes with his hand, while looking up at the sun. Below is the suggestion that we “Give the gift of light this Christmas” by buying a solar lantern. The price? A mere $60 dollars.

Watching their video, one could almost be moved and convinced. Like an email from a Nigerian scammer, a few small flaws give us pause: Supposedly 1.2 million people die of smoke related deaths each year — one every 20 seconds. We question that statistic, as it seems unlikely for a number of reasons. They also show their campaign teaching people to convert their lamps to solar with LEDs, florescent bulbs, and solar panels. Its a simple electronics lab project, easily taught in an afternoon, but they’re promising to teach this skill to 250 people this year, and 500 next year. Thinking about it, that doesn’t seem like a very productive schedule.

I’d certainly like to be able to imagine even a COUNTRY (this one, for starters) where everyone has access to affordable, clean, renewable power. That would be a good start. Maybe it would be easier to bring the African continent up on solar since grid electricity isn’t as thoroughly entrenched there as it is here. I’ll give them that much… but charity still begins at home. Moreover, technology advancements will be far greater here than those achieved in a “developing” nation, and can then be handed across to them to utilize. When the U.S. and the rest of the Western World aren’t yet on board with that affordable, clean, renewable power, it’s a bit much to ask us to dig deep and give Africa money to get it.

The site goes on to show that Gwyn Roberts is driving a 1989 Landcruiser from London to Cape Town, hoping to raise £20,000 for them. The tie-in? He’s going to use solar panels on the vehicle, supposedly to increase MPG. Then there’s the 5k run. There’s a long laundry list of corporate donors and sponsors, including utility companies. It LOOKS like a valid cause… but are looks deceiving?

$60 is a fairly good chunk of change. On a wholesale basis, $60 buys a LOT more than one solar lamp. That much can buy a solar panel that can give lights to several LED lamps. Not sure? Think about those solar lamps for the yards. They have a couple off-brand AA rechargeable batteries in them, a very small solar cell, and they can provide light to read by. Such lamps retail in the stores in the States for well under $10 each. Where is the rest of the money going? Administration? New Landcruisers? And what about all of those corporate sponsors?

We agree with the sentiment, and the goal. But the numbers don’t add up, and that’s really too bad. Africa’s people ARE poor, and they could use solar technologies. But this program brings to mind a bloated Sally Struthers dolefully pleading for starving children while wearing a $1500 wardrobe. Cate Blanchette and the rest of the cast and crew may have the best of intentions, but that doesn’t mean they’re not being fleeced. It’s a myth that solar must be expensive — especially when we’re talking about solar lanterns. We’d be happy to pass along good news about a worthy solar charity. This just isn’t one of them, in my opinion.

VIDEO: Solar Aid Needs Your Money NOW!

Solar Power Goes Mainstream

In Hollywood, you know you’ve arrived when They start advertising you, your book, album or movie. Aside from a few generalized Alternative Energy commercials during this past election year in the United States, solar and wind power developments have pretty much been on the Q-T. This is especially strange when there have been large solar energy farms in desert regions for quite some time now… but Alternative Energy has definitely gone mainstream. How can you tell? It isn’t just that the Governor of New Jersey ordered a billion dollars of wind turbines installed 20 miles offshore, or that a city in Florida made solar buy-back mandatory, or even the Green communities and the governments’ solar investments. It’s the ads.

In the past few days, the Internet, and Google in particular, has started firing off commercial solar power ads. We’re not talking about the old Popular Mechanics ads that amount to a school science project, or the little solar lawn lights that kinda snuck in at Warmart, Lowe’s and Home Depot when nobody was looking. These are major, full-blown websites offering analysis of your solar needs, and quotes for a full-house installation. and sites are amongst those which have paid Google ads, and very professional websites for their very professional services. There’s even a site advertising Solar as a gift to impoverished nations! Astute businessmen, pay heed: Solar Power has arrived!
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Forests of the World Rejoice as PC Magazine Goes Online-Only!

Mega-publisher Ziff Davis Media has informed us that it will no longer be printing it’s flagship periodical, PC Magazine. The online version will remain, they say, but the costs of printing and decrease in paper advertising just don’t add up. Ziff Davis Media says that 70-80 percent of their revenue now comes from the online site anyway. The final hardcopy edition will be the January 2009 issue.

No matter how venerable it may have been, this is good news for the ecology. The magazine’s circulation was at 1.2 MILLION copies a month in the late 1990′s, sometimes as much as 600 pages thick each. Even last year, it was still putting some 600,000 printed copies of the magazine on the shelves every month. Trees and forests everywhere will weep and rejoice!

There seems to be a sweeping trend in pulp publication mortality. Some of it is simply attributed to the age of instant information. A publication can be put online today, and any typo corrected real-time. The news is actually news, not already old news by the time it hits the stands. There’s a very strong case here for getting rid of most, if not all, physical periodical publications.

Other publications preparing to go online-only include “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” which has been printed since 1945, “The Christian Science Monitor”, a daily publication which is going online with its weekday editions, and the Hearst Corporation’s CosmoGirl.

Some die-hards claim that print-advertising will continue to be essential to magazines, but the many publications that are online-only, some of which have never been in hardcopy form, prove otherwise. Online publications are able to support hundreds of thousands each year in budget, and continue to pay journalists a liveable wage — $30k to start, up to an average of $60,000 per year, plus benefits and perks. Seems pretty clear that pulp publications are about to be gone for good… and that’s a good thing for our planet.

Independence from Foreign Oil

Letter To The Editor:

The most recent perspectives from the U.S. On alternative energy seem to come from a sense of feeling that they are at the mercy of foreign (read: Arab/Terrorist) sources of crude oil. Some sentiment is that they don’t care to be giving money to people who hate them, while others are more pragmatic, and simply see no sense in sending away 700 billion dollars per year when that money could stay right there in their own country, if they weren’t depending upon foreign oil sources. Whether the basis is accurate or not is debatable, since US companies like Exxon are reporting huge earnings while oil prices are high, but the bigger question is: Will they remain interested in alternative energy if oil becomes cheap again?

The wise move on the part of OPEC would be to bring the prices down, to accept a far smaller margin of profit, and hope that this will cause the United States’ citizens to put aside their concerns about developing alternative energy sources. The profits are still huge at much smaller per-barrel prices on crude. Once the world develops alternatives to crude oil, though, it will be very much a buyer’s market for the product. Plastics will still be in demand, but alternatives to plastic may be the next Green movement.

The smartest thing for OPEC and the other oil producing nations to do at this juncture would be to bring per-barrel prices VERY low. This would appease some of the anti-Arab sentiment, and cast a clarifying light upon the real culprits of high gas prices. Meanwhile, a lesser percent of profit is far better than none at all.

Daily Green News is Big Business!

In today’s economy, going green brings in the green for many businesses.

Some companies profit from making the world better for the future by manufacturing products that lessen our dependence on fossil fuel and decrease emissions. By selling these products, they help the planet and create a profitable business. For other companies, going green brings in the green because it saves them money. For example, by using low-energy LEDs rather than conventional lighting, businesses are saving 80 percent in energy consumption over conventional lighting. In these scenarios, everyone wins.

Ebay is one company that has saved money by lessening its water consumption footprint. Smart water management delivered a “green” multiplier effect for the corporation. In other words, they saved not only by lowering the water bills, but also by saving energy, lowering carbon emissions, lowering sewer bills, cutting down on landscape replacement and by protecting the local ecosystems.

The electronics industry is increasing their recycling efforts, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. In this way, electronics companies are decreasing the piles of electronic waste in the landfills, while saving themselves money in purchasing raw materials.

Companies with an interest in going green are also saving money by using e-billing and cutting down on paper in offices. Just as the IRS has saved thousands, and perhaps millions, by encouraging taxpayers to utilize the more efficient electronic tax return, companies who bill electronically save paper, postage, and manhours that are normally spent opening mail and processing checks. With ebilling, payments are deposited directly into the company account.

Particularly with the current economic climate, going green makes great environmental sense, and it also makes great economic sense.

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