All About The Anti-friction Bearings
When equipment and systems that feature rotation are under operation, they constantly generate both radial and axial loads. With movement between these rotating components, friction is also created. If left to their own devices, these loads and friction may cause damage that can lead to inevitable failure of the entire assembly. To mitigate this chance and protect equipment, antifriction bearings are implemented.
Antifriction bearings, also known as rolling bearings, are specialized bearings in which an assembly load is carried by rolling elements that are placed between races. Antifriction bearings have various benefits for use, such as having well balanced size, weight, cost, load carrying capacity, friction, durability, and more. In general, antifriction bearing components are widely used for applications such as aerospace, automotive, marine, and industrial equipment. The most common types of antifriction bearings are ball bearings, radial ball bearings, thrust ball bearings, cylinder roller bearings, needle roller bearings, and tapered roller bearings.
The Ball Bearing-
The ball bearing is a common variation of the antifriction bearing that has balls that roll within inner and outer races. The races are specifically engineered to permit the ball to loosely fit, allowing for it to move within a narrow area. When a high amount of pressure is placed on a small area, the ball begins to deform similarly to a tire that is pressed against the ground when driving a vehicle. As the balls and race do not move at the same speeds, opposing forces and sliding motions occur which can result in drag.
The Radial Ball Bearing-
The radial ball bearing is a type of roller bearing that is designed to be used in applications with radial loads. Due to their design and construction, the radial ball bearing can support high levels of thrust loads on either direction of the bearing. Radial bearings also excel in rotational accuracy, low torque, low noise, and high speeds. With high performance and versatility in application, the radial ball bearing remains one of the most widely used bearing types. Radial ball bearings are susceptible to shock and impact loads, and should be protected against contaminants with a shield or seal if possible.
Thrust Ball Bearing-
A thrust ball bearing is a type that may either feature flat or aligning seats which are dictated by the shape of the bearing’s outer ring seat. Thrust ball bearings are useful for axial loads such as vertical shafts, though they cannot undertake radial loads. There are also numerous designs for thrust ball bearings, such as standard thrust ball bearings, spherical roller thrust bearings, tapered roller thrust bearings, and more.
The Cylinder Roller Bearing-
The cylinder roller bearing serves as one of the original types of antifriction bearing, utilizing a cylindrical shape that has a length that exceeds the diameter by a small amount. As compared to ball bearing types, the cylindrical roller bearing has a higher load capacity for radial loads. Their downside, however, is that they feature lower axial load bearing capacity and higher amounts of friction when under such loads. In cylindrical roller bearings, the load of the assembly is distributed unevenly on the rollers as they rotate, such that less than half of the rollers are carrying a major portion of the load at any time. The cylinder roller bearing may come in a variety of bore sizes, and different designs and types may benefit various applications and needs.
The Needle Roller Bearing-
The needle roller bearing is similar in design to the cylinder roller bearing, though they feature a much longer and thinner cylindrical shape. While needle bearings have rollers that are much bigger than their diameter, needle roller bearings still serve well for reducing friction within a rotating assembly. The most common application that needle roller bearings serve is within automobile assemblies, and they may be found within the compressors, pumps, transmissions, drive shafts, and rocker arm pivots.
The Tapered Roller Bearing-
Lastly, the tapered roller bearing is one that has conical rollers that are placed on conical races. While a majority of roller bearing types may only be used to bear either radial or axial loads, the tapered roller bearing is able to accomodate applications that feature both types. In general, the tapered roller bearing type is used for the wheels of land vehicles.
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