Medical Grade Precision vs. ABEC Rated
Rx is setting the standard for medical manufacturing tolerance levels adapted to skateboarding. Our continuous research and development in the composition of durable lubricants, ceramics, special resistant retainer materials, and ultra-high precision machining make Rx Bearings the most technologically advanced skateboard bearings available.
So, what is the ABEC rating system, and how does it fit into Medical Grade Precision (MGP) tolerance levels.
The ABEC scale is an industry-standard for the tolerances of a ball bearing’s dimensions. The Annular Bearing Engineering Committee (ABEC) developed the scaling ABEC rating system. The system provides bearing manufacturers with dimensional specifications that meet set standards of precision bearings in a specified class. There are five classes: ABEC-1, ABEC-3, ABEC-5, ABEC-7, and ABEC-9.
The scale works as a guide for consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing bearings, and for manufacturers who produce equipment that requires bearings; for example, skateboard wheels and trucks. The ABEC scale will help ensure that bearings fit snuggly into the wheel. However, the ABEC system does not take into consideration factors related to materials, manufacturing, and performance.
The ABEC rating is an industry classification that primarily covers the tolerances of the inner ring and outer ring dimensions. The ABEC classes are -1, -3, -5, -7, and -9 with ABEC-1 being the “lowest” quality and ABEC-9, the “highest” quality.
Higher ABEC classes provide better precision, efficiency, and the possibility of greater speed capabilities. Still, the ABEC rating does not specify many critical parameters, such as ball precision, raceway polishing, loading capabilities, material composition, material hardness, noise, vibration, and lubrication.
This lack of information about bearing specifications is why meeting MGP standards are paramount. For the parameters that we measure, our bearings do meet the ABEC tolerances, but more importantly, we understand the critical parameters required for skateboarding that are not covered by the ABEC rating.
The parameters we are controlling are much more critical than the ABEC parameters above.
- Allowable Ball Diameter Variation
- Inner and outer races
- Material Composition