21 - Skate - Hobby

Skate Bearings - Question 21

What is the difference between SUJ2 and SAE52100 bearing steel?

Very little. They are both standards which are applied to the chemical composition of Chrome Steel - also known as Chromium Steel and High Carbon Chrome Steel). SUJ2 is a Japanese standard, whilst SAE52100 is a U.S. standard.

Both of the above standards are exactly the same for 4 of the 7 major elements used in Chrome Steel. Of the remaining 3 elements the specifications overlap. An SUJ2 bearing steel may also conform to SAE52100 and vice versa. That is not to say that all batches of one will also conform to the other, but the differences are minimal anyway. Don’t let anyone tell you that one is better than the other.

The main differences are the specifications for Manganese, Carbon and Molybdenum as follows
  Manganese Carbon Molybdenum
SUJ2 < 0.50% 0.95-1.10%

<0.08%

SAE52100 0.25-0.45% 0.98-1.10% <0.10%
As you can see, the differences are minimal, and they overlap considerably
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