One of thefundamental problems with conventional steel ball bearings is their tendency to "micro-weld". This is when microscopic surface "peaks" onthe ball and race make contact and actually weld together. This occurs even withlight loading and adequate lubrication, because the actual point load at these"peaks" is upwards of one million PSI. As the bearing rotates, theweld is pulled apart and the cycle continues. This "weld-pull" cycle(technically called adhesive wear) results in higher temperatures, higherfriction, and decreased life. Adhesive wear is not some laboratory-onlyphenomenon, but rather a normal process for a conventional steel ball bearing,especially when lubricated by grease (as opposed to oil).
Now here's greatnews:The ceramic hybrid bearing cannot micro-weld to steel, thus eliminating theproblem entirely. Friction is drastically reduced, the bearing runs cooler, andtherefore lasts many times longer. And because wear particles generated byadhesive wear are not present, the bearing and lubricant stays cleaner, andlasts even longer.