Stainless Steel for Linear Guide Systems

stainless steel linear guide

Stainless steel material for linear guide components and assemblies (carriages, track & rail) is a core part of Modern Linear’s capabilities. The reasons a customer would choose stainless components could very well be tied into the inherent benefits of using guide roller technology.


Stainless Parts Available

Guide Rollers: 440 stainless tire, nylon retainer, 440 stainless balls, nitrile rubber seals.

Bushing & Studs: 303 Stainless steel.

Track: 420 stainless steel, hardened at the v-edge.

Hybrid Roller Assembly (HRA): modular roller assembly can be configured with different material specs to best suit application. Outer tire can be 300 or 400 series stainless. Stud is 304 stainless. Inner ball bearing can be stainless, or ceramic depending on customer spec. Corrosion resistant snap rings. Further information on the Hybrid Roller Assembly can be found here: Enhanced Versatility with HRA (Blog)

Carriages: Stainless carriages come with stainless rollers. Carriage plate is 6063 plate. All mounting hardware is 18-8 stainless.

Rail: Vectors can be equipped with stainless steel track on request. Extrusions are 6061 aluminum.



Grease comes standard as NLGI#2. Options include specialty grease for high/low temp, clean room, vacuum, and food safe.


Surface Treatments

In addition to stainless material, surface treatments such as platings and coatings can achieve good results in corrosive environments. Further information on tackling corrosion with guide roller technology can be found here: Protecting Linear Rail from Corrosion (Blog)

  • Electroless nickel plating, black oxide treatment, and coatings.
  • A low cost option is to simply paint the linear system. The rollers will rub away the paint at the v-edge of the track, but all other supporting surfaces will be protected.
stainless steel linear rail

After just a few hours of regular use, the natural wiping action of the v-groove rollers removed the paint from the edge of the track. The ‘structural’ section of track remains painted and therefore protected.


Benefits of Guide Rollers

In addition to utilizing stainless steel material, guide roller linear systems are the most durable system under extreme conditions, or where inspection and maintenance are difficult or impossible.

  • Rollers running on track sweep away any surface rust, keeping the machine clean and running smoothly.
  • Costly bellows/covers and other protection are generally not required for guide roller systems.
  • Guide rollers can run without external lubrication = better suited to a system that is not easily reachable for maintenance.
  • Operating life is therefore extended. Costs come down overall.