A bearing is a mechanical component that may be implemented within an assembly to facilitate rotating motion and mitigate the forces of friction. As components that are tasked with the transferring of axial and radial loads to supporting structures, bearings must exhibit high amounts of precision and durability while ensuring noise and vibration do not become an issue. With the various common types of bearing components available on the market, automobiles, aircraft, construction equipment, and other vehicles and devices can all benefit from load bearing and friction reduction. In this blog, we will discuss some of the more common bearing types, allowing you to find which is best for your given application.
Ball bearings are a type of rolling-element bearing, and they feature balls within races to support and transmit radial and axial loads. Generally, such bearing types are most beneficial for radial contact, meaning that they excel when the force induced on them is perpendicular to their rotational axis. If the ball bearing is a double row type, angular contacts may be facilitated and axial loads can be handled. With standard ball bearings though, only moderate axial loads can be efficiently handled.
Roller bearing components are the oldest form of rolling-element bearings, and they often come in the form of cylindrical roller bearings that have cylinders with longer lengths than their diameters. With their different elements as compared to ball bearings, roller bearings such as cylindrical roller types are capable of undertaking higher radial loads. Despite this, such bearings suffer from higher amounts of friction when taking on axial loads, and bearing capacity can quickly drop if races are not aligned correctly.
Tapered Roller Bearings
Tapered roller bearings are a form of roller bearing, and their difference from other roller types lies in the fact that conical rollers are placed on conical races. Unlike more standard roller bearings, the tapered roller bearing in particular is capable of handling both radial and axial loads, as well as each at the same time as a combined load. With their robust design, tapered roller bearings are also capable of taking on very high loads. As tapered rollers are sometimes interchangeable with ball bearings, a tapered roller bearing with equivalent dimensions can be used for more load performance. Generally, tapered roller bearings are a great choice for assemblies such as vehicle transmissions, machine spindles, and more.
A thrust bearing is a specific type of rotary bearing, and they feature rotational components in order to mainly support axial loads. Thrust bearings can come in a variety of forms to accommodate different applications, and some common types include thrust ball bearings, tapered roller thrust bearings, fluid bearings, magnetic bearings, and spherical roller thrust bearings. With their ability to support axial loads, such bearing types can commonly be found in automotive, aerospace, and marine applications alike.
With the variety of bearing types available, choosing which is best for your particular needs will often fall on several important factors. For one, the load types present in a particular application will regularly dictate which bearing is most optimal due to the fact that each type is designed for a specific load. Furthermore, rotation speed is also important, as some bearings can accommodate such faster speeds and still operate efficiently. Beyond such factors, other important considerations to make include the environment that the bearing will be placed in, average service lives for bearings, and types of sealing systems used.
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