Bearings are components that prevent direct contact between two metals in relative motion to avoid friction, heat generation, and wear & tear. Since there is no sliding motion, the bearing reduces the energy consumption of moving parts through low friction rolling. In addition, bearings help transmit radial loads, axial loads, or both types of rotating element loads to the housing. Bearings are available in various sizes & shapes, and the choice between types depends on the application and type of loads, namely radial, axial, or a combination of both. Let us discuss each bearing and its subtypes in detail.
Ball bearings are one of the most common types which can bear thrust and radial loads. There are three ball-bearing variations: deep groove, angular contact, and self-aligning ball bearings. The deep-groove ball bearing is the most commonly used roller bearing. They have deep grooves with circular arcs in their external and internal rings. Angular contact ball bearings are symmetrical and can resist high, unidirectional axial loads at high speeds. A self-aligning bearing can align itself in case of misalignment caused by the housing and shaft machining or an installation error. It has two raceways at the inner ring and a single spherical groove at its outer ring, with its center of curvature coinciding with the bearing axis. Ball-bearings have applications in multiple sectors, ranging from households to automotive and machine tooling equipment. You can find ball bearings in bicycles, skates, motor bikes, hairdryers, photocopiers, fans, AC, escalators, elevators, assembly lines, power tools, pumps/compressors, engines, steering assemblies, electric motors, gearboxes, and transmissions.
Tapered Roller Bearings
If you are required to account for both radial and thrust loads, tapered rolling bearings are a perfect choice. Tapered bearings have a vertical angle in the external ring which comes in handy when managing thrust loads. These bearing types are primarily used in agriculture, construction and mining equipment, axle systems, railroad axle-boxes, gearboxes, engine motors, propeller shafts, differentials, and wind turbines.
Spherical Roller Bearings
Spherical roller bearings are ideal if there is an angular misalignment or an application requires low friction while rotating, particularly when the rotating shaft of the internal ring is misaligned with the outer ring. It is possible for such bearings to excel in these instances due to the spherical internal shape of their outer ring and their use of spherical rollers. These bearing types are notably used in gearboxes, wind turbines, material handling, pumps, mechanical fans and blowers, mining and construction equipment, marine propulsion and offshore drilling, and off-road vehicles.
Cylindrical Roller Bearings
The cylindrical roller bearing is an excellent choice for heavy loads because it distributes weight over an increased area, making the entire device capable of handling more significant amounts. The ball-bearing type can primarily take on radial forces, so they are not useful when encountering thrust loads. As a result, these bearings can easily be found in petroleum production, mining, power generation, aggregate crushing, cement processing, transmissions, and metal recycling.
Plain bearings have the simplest construction, composed solely of a bearing surface with no rolling elements, which makes them less expensive. Additionally, plain bearings last longer than other types depending on the materials used for their design. As a result, they are mostly used in turbomachines, such as power plant steam turbines, compressors operating in critical pipeline applications, and ship propeller shafts.
Apart from the bearings discussed above, several other bearing types are available on the market, like thrust, needle roller, magnetic, jewel, and fluid bearings. These bearings also have significant applications in multiple industries, machines, and tools. Bearings are essential to limit the wear and tear of moving objects and to increase the machine's lifespan. If you are looking for bearings for your project or application, Hardware and Fasteners is a leading distributor of aircraft bearings in the aviation industry. We are AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise, ensuring you only receive the highest quality items. Contact us for your requirements, and we will be happy to serve you 24/7x365.
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