Extended service life: benefits of high-nitrogen alloy steel

Rolls of high-nitrogen alloy steel

Demanding applications and conditions require high-precision bearings made with top-quality materials. Do you stop your equipment frequently? Do your machines work at very high speeds? Do your machines run at high temperatures? Do you have a corrosive environment? If you answer yes to any of these, standard bearings will not suffice. You need the next generation of high-performance bearings featuring high-nitrogen alloy steel races. These bearings run faster, longer, and cooler than most on the market. 

What is high-nitrogen steel, anyway?

High-nitrogen steel is harder and stronger than carbon steel. It is, as the name implies, high in nitrogen, which offers benefits in many fields including food, medical, dental, and aeronautics. 

Different names for high-nitrogen steel bearings by brand

Many of our high-end manufacturers have their own version of high-nitrogen steel races to extend bearing life. 

  • FAG calls it Chronidur or Vacrodur 
  • GRW and HQW call it SV30 
  • SKF calls it NitroMax 

Benefits of high-nitrogen alloy steel races

High-quality materials

Materials sensitive to corrosion create friction, movement and noise. Bearings with high-nitrogen races and ceramic rolling elements reduce friction, resist fractures more effectively and last longer. Combining ceramic rolling elements with the ultra-clean high-nitrogen steel races further reduces friction. 

Corrosion resistance

These bearings are super corrosion-resistant in both lubricated and unlubricated applications. Corrosion resistance helps prevent overheating. 


Cooler running extends the service life of both lubricants and bearings. High-nitrogen alloy steel races resistant to temperature gradients at high speeds and offers better, more accurate preload. 


High-nitrogen steel reduces wear and fatigue by reducing friction and stress on bearings. The improved life of the bearing increases running time and maintains performance integrity and productivity. 

Research verifies what experience has shown: high nitrogen steel races extend bearing service life. High-nitrogen steel races mean less downtime for maintenance because the nitrogen steel reduces friction, and metal fatigue while increasing corrosion and temperature resistance.  

Not sure which bearing you need? Call an Alpine Bearing sales engineer. We know these bearings inside and out and can help you select the best unit for your application. You can get what you need in a hurry because Alpine ships orders the day we receive them. 

Read more about machine tool spindle bearings and find the right machine tool spindle bearings for your project here.