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Carbon Steel Shafting

Carbon Steel Shafting

Thomson 60 Case® carbon steel shafting is made of high-quality, specially developed alloy steel. When it comes to linear shafting, no other manufacturers have set such high standards or specifications for the raw steel used in the production of linear shafting. The chemical properties of the steel are customized to provide consistent, homogenous microstructure and proper response to thermal processing. When you use Thomson 60 Case, you can be confident you get consistent material from shaft to shaft.





What is Carbon Steel?

Commonly known as steel that is not stainless steel, carbon steel is the most used shafting material in industrial automation. It is easily hardenable, which lends itself to premium performance with all bearing types – especially those using ball bearings. A shaft’s high carbon content makes for easier machineability, but also puts it at risk for corrosion. To provide corrosion resistance, Thomson offers plating options (chrome, ARMOLOY™ and black oxide).


Hardness Options Material Length Surface Finish Straightness Plating Options
Carbon Steel Shafting 3/16 - 4" (5 - 80mm) 60 Rockwell C min Solid Steel

Predrilled (PD)


Predrilled Chrome Plated Plain Ends (PDCPPE)

Chrome Plated
Plain Ends(CPPE)

Solid Steel Deep Case(DC)

1566 Carbon Steel

Random up to 202"
8 Ra microinch max 0.001 in/ft



Black Oxide

Coil-to-bar manufacturing technology permits sourcing of hot rolled material, resulting in lower costs, sourcing flexibility, high straightness levels and controlled sizing prior to induction hardening.

Thomson 60 Case shafting is stocked with radial holes drilled and tapped to accept a continuous shaft support rail in carbon steel or aluminum. Continuous support prevents shaft deflection when used to support heavy loads or for long travel lengths.

The Thomson Advantage

For more than 70 years, Thomson has been producing precision-ground linear shafting for its Linear Ball Bushing® Bearings.

  • We are one of a few linear motion component suppliers producing their own shafting.
  • We offer the largest selection of linear shafting – not just the popular sizes.
  • We offer a complete linear motion solution – not just one component of a linear system.
  • We offer the widest range of inch and metric shafting, support rails and support blocks in the market today.
  • We continually optimize our processes to ensure optimal bearing performance and extended life.
  • We perform thousands of hours of laboratory testing per year to continually evaluate our products.

While shafts may appear the same to the untrained eye on the surface, there are significant performance differences due to the manufacturer’s selected standards and the manufacturing processes used to achieve them. Thomson 60 Case was developed and is continually enhanced because of our goal to provide a consistent finish, roundness, straightness, cylindricity case hardness and depth on all shafting for the demands of a linear bearing. Unlike common shafting, Thomson 60 Case shafting is manufactured to the highest quality standards in an ISO 9000:2000 registered facility. Our techniques have been continuously upgraded with proprietary knowledge gained from more than 70 years of manufacturing experience. Using Thomson 60 Case with Thomson Ball Bushing Bearings ensures optimal bearing performance and travel life.

Technical Articles

  • Round or Square? Which is the Ideal Linear Guide for Your Application

    Advancements in load capacity, life and ease of manufacture allowed an ever-widening range of applications to benefit from nearly friction free linear guidance. Since the introduction of the square, or profile rail, linear guide in the 1970s, the design engineer has been faced with the pivotal question: round or square?

    Learn More
  • Picking the Right Linear Rails for Your Application

    How to choose between the main types of linear technologies, and how to design automation systems that deliver optimal performance using design requirements, rather than cost, as the primary consideration in selecting linear components.

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  • Selecting and Applying Rolling Element Linear Bearings and Guides

    Specifying the right bearing for a given application is necessary to save time and excessive costs. Understanding the tradeoffs of each bearing type is important to accurately size and select the right bearing for your application. This article will provide an overview of the major types of linear bearings and guides, explain how to specify them for specific applications and describe how to trouble-shoot common application problems. 

    Learn More

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