Space Solutions

Kaman Self-Lubricating Bearings for Space
Performance, reliability, and extended service life for demanding space applications

Kaman Specialty Bearings is a strong, customer-focused engineering organization, with bearing solutions that can be found around the globe. Kaman’s self-lubricating liner technology offers an increase in performance, reliability, and extended service life in applications such as solar array pins, arm linkages, flight controls, helium tank attachments, sunshields, engine mounts and many others.

Self-Lubricating Bearings for Space

Self-Lubricating Bearings

Our self-lubricating liner systems have been present in space applications for several decades, offering improved performance, low wear rates, and low friction in even the most demanding applications. Various launch vehicle flight controls, linkages, and engine mounts, low Earth orbit and deep space satellites or landers, and support infrastructure (land and sea support vehicles and equipment, etc.) have utilized our self-lubricating liner technologies to reliably handle the harsh operating environments at launch, during long term operation in space, and during re-entry, landing, and recovery back on Earth.  Every bearing solution can be tailored to your needs using our high performance machinable KAron and KAtherm liners or our industry-leading Fraslip fabric liners.

Our onsite, full service Test and Development Lab can support most development or qualification tests that may be needed for your bearing application. If your test requirements fall outside of our internal capabilities, we can utilize our network of trusted, third party test facilities to provide the performance data that you require.

Features & Benefits

  • All liner systems:
    • High dynamic and static operating load capacity
    • Low, consistent friction at ambient, reduced, and elevated temperatures
    • Compatible with cryogenic temperatures and can be used directly in some cryogenic systems and fluids
    • Capability with standard aerospace fluids
    • Can be applied to a variety of metallic and non-metallic substrates
    • 100% maintenance free
    • Long life in a variety of dynamic conditions (anti-fretting, oscillations, rolling, or sliding)
    • Often designed to operate for the life of the aircraft
    • Tested and qualified to SAE AS81934, AS81820, AS8943, and AS85560 self-lubricating bearing standards (see Technologies section or Engineering Resources for details on specific liner qualifications and capabilities)
    • Outgassing data available for vacuum environments
  • Machinable KAron and Katherm liner systems:
    • 100% bond, non-peelable
    • Can be applied to complex geometry
    • Liner thickness can be varied over a wide range
    • Allows for post-installation reaming or honing
Self-Lubricating Bearings

Metal to Metal Bearings

These bearings are traditionally used for high load applications and/or severe environmental conditions such as high or low temperatures. Different types of construction and various coatings, platings and lubricants are available to ensure the best performance under almost any conditions.

Features & Benefits

  • Very high load rating
  • High tolerance to impact loads
  • Numerous materials possible
  • Cryogenic temperatures
  • High temperatures up to 800°C
  • Constructions:
    • SFormed outer ring
    • Outer ring with loader slot
  • Split ball design
  • Vacuum compatible


Kaman Metal to Metal Bearings


In applications that require low overall weight, titanium alloy is a popular choice for bearing material. For years customers using these bearings struggled with the fact that at very high bearing loads (such as those specified in AS81820), titanium alloys tend to exhibit less-stable dynamic friction coefficients. Titanium alloy bearings can also be subject to surface distress (wear scarring of the titanium). Using a diffusion-hardened Ti64 mating surface within self-lubricating bearing systems, KAMAN Specialty Bearings & Engineered Products has been able to alleviate wear scarring, providing customers with a solution for highly efficient, high load, lightweight bearings.


Kaman Titanium Diffusion Hardening (TDH)

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