Bearings are common elements of moving assemblies, serving to bear loads and reduce friction between contacting surfaces in motion. Thrust bearings in particular are a more specialized type, capable of taking on the axial loads of rotating devices. Such bearings can come in a number of forms to cater towards different applications and requirements, and common types include rolling element thrust bearings and fluid-film thrust bearings. In this blog, we will discuss the main thrust bearing types that are available on the market to help you find exactly what is needed for your operations.
The tapered roller thrust bearing is a type that features varying angles between the bearing axis and between the raceway and tapered roller, the size of the angle determining the amount of thrust that can be taken on. With the surface finish of their flange and roller end design, friction is reduced through lubricant film formation for the means of guarding the component and assembly against friction heat and wear. Additionally, tapered roller thrust bearings are also capable of undertaking heavy axial loads, making them quite useful for various applications.
Cylinder thrust bearings, or cylindrical roller thrust bearings, are those that take advantage of cylindrical rollers that are situated around the bearing axis in a perpendicular assembly. To mitigate the stress that forms between the raceway outer wall and the rollers, all rollers are either end-relieved or crowned. Cylindrical roller thrust bearings are known for their ample ability in accommodating axial loads, though they are not recommended for radial loads.
Thrust ball bearings are also incapable of taking on radial loads, often being at risk of misalignment. To prevent such occurrences, many manufacturers specifically design thrust ball bearings with a sphered groove implemented on the housing washer to retain alignment as best as possible. While not optimal for heavy loads, the thrust ball bearing is commonly used for high speed applications where it performs well.
Fluid film bearings are a cheaper alternative to rolling-element type bearings, capable of placement within high-speed and high-load operations. Hydrodynamic thrust bearings are types that take advantage of their design and lubricant viscosity in order to support axial loads with ample cushioning. While in rotation, the fluids present around the bearing will move towards the bearing pad in order to create a buffer which may be managed through seals and a cage.
Hydrostatic thrust bearings are another fluid-film type, utilizing lubricant or an air cushion that has been pumped into the assembly. With the support of the continuously operating pump, the hydrostatic thrust bearing has the potential to overcome the various issues that are seen in hydrodynamic thrust bearings. Due to the low tolerances of their air cushion, such bearings are optimal for precision machining.
Magnetic thrust bearings are a very specialized type, capable of magnetic levitation that permits the bearing of loads. Depending on whether the load undertaken is light or heavy, the bearing may feature permanent magnets or electromagnets. Due to their levitation, magnetic thrust bearings do not require lubrication and exhibit very low friction.
No matter what thrust bearings or other bearing types you require for your operations, ASAP Fasteners can help you secure everything you need quickly and easily. ASAP Fasteners is a trusted distributor for bearing components, fasteners, connector parts, and aircraft parts that have been sourced from leading global manufacturers that we trust. Due to our adherence to strict quality control and export compliance measures, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. As you explore our inventory, we invite you to begin with a competitive quote for your comparisons which you may receive through the submission of an Instant RFQ form. Get started today and see how ASAP Fasteners can help you secure everything you need quickly and easily.