Nov 23 in Plastics

Torlon Balls for NZ Marine Bearings

Torlon balls make ideal marine industry bearings

As a nation well known for sailing, Torlon has exhibited its extreme performance time and time again.

Torlon ball bearings and needle roller bearings are widely used in the marine industry.

Torlon is an extreme performance thermoplastic polymer called polyamide-imide, referred to as PAI.

PAI is a far superior replacement for stainless steel bearings.

Its high creep resistance stops it from suffering permanent plastic deformation under very high static loads.

Low friction, high strength, and tough properties makes Torlon the perfect material for pleasure and racing sailing vessels.

Weight reduction is an important consideration in sailing and Torlon is 5.5x lighter than stainless steel.

Often used in applications such as highly loaded winches, travellers, cars, sheaves and other deck equipment.

Supply Services Ltd carry all the common sizes of Torlon ball bearings and needle roller bearings as stock items.

In the New Zealand market 4203 (unfilled) Torlon is the most common.

Advantages of Torlon ball bearings?

  • Amazing compression strength
  • Excellent dimensional stability
  • Very broad chemical resistance
  • High performance in both dry and lubricated applications
  • Reduced weight, up to 5.5x lighter than stainless steel equivalent

Want to know more about Torlon?

PAI is an extreme performance thermoplastic polymer called polyamide-imide (PAI).

It is often referred to in New Zealand under the brand name Torlon.

PAI was first developed by Dupont in 1955 and commercially used since the late 1960’s.

It can be compression moulded, extruded and injection moulded making it a very versatile material.

PAI has exceptional heat capabilities ranging from cryogenic to +270°C.

Other characteristics include, high strength and toughness, high long-term stability, extremely high creep and good chemical resistance.

Readily machined with conventional tooling.

Typical applications include high temperature switches and test sockets, valve seats, valve balls, ball bearings, and piston rings.

PAI (Torlon) comes in many different grades filled and unfilled to cover all requirements.

Take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about PAI.

Take a look at some of our other performance engineering plastics

Our DENSETEC® Marine Board is designed to withstand harsh marine environments.

It replaces wood and does not crack, splinter, rot or smell.

It is even UV stabilised to give it years of service life.


Acetal is another material used in the marine industry.

Acetal offers high-strength, amazing wear and a sliding properties.

Low moisture absorption and a high degree of dimension stability.

Applications include deck fittings, skin fittings and stanchions.


Take a look at all of our Engineering Plastics range. Contact our nationwide team today on 0800 102 112.