Bearings are small weighted balls that bear the load of a bigger device and help reduce the friction between two surfaces when in motion. These bearings are the foundation of anything you take around you.
For example, the wheels of your four or two-wheelers, skateboards, industrial machinery, ceiling fans, and more, all possess of different kinds of bearings to have a smooth rotation while bearing the load.
There are several kinds of bearings, depending on the type of load they bear to help move the device without much friction. As for bearings, there are basically two types of load, which are radial and thrust. Depending on the type of load, the bearings are chosen for the devices. For example, the wheels of your car have thrust and radial loads, where the weight of the car produces a radial load while when it turns a corner, it produces the thrust load.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at differences among some of the common bearings used in our day-to-day life.
Types Of Bearing
Ball bearings are the most common ones used in the devices around us and they bear the thrust as well as radial loads.
They are also known as Conrad bearings and are typically used to handle small load applications.
The contact point between the ball and the outer race is very small due to the spherical shape of the bearing, which helps the ball to spin very smoothly.
Due to the smaller contact point, the bearing can become overloaded at a specific point. So, it is normally used in small applications where the load is relatively smaller.
Straight Roller Bearings
Straight roller bearings are also known as cylindrical bearings. as they are low-friction and high radial load capacity with high-speed capability.
Roller bearings have a cylindrical shape, where the point of contact between the race is a line instead of a point.
Due to its structure, the load can be distributed over a larger area, which allows the bearing to handle a greater load.
They are, normally, found in applications like conveyor belt rollers, which hold heavy radial loads.
Tapered Roller Bearings
Tapered roller bearings are designed in such a way that they can bear radial as well as thrust loads.
As the name suggests, the rings and rollers are tapered in the shape of truncated cones, which support axial and radial loads.
The ratio of the load depends on the angle of the axes between the roller and bearing, wherein if the angle is greater, it can support a greater axial load.
They are generally found in car hubs due to the amount of radial and thrust loads they carry.
Spherical Roller Bearings
As the name suggests, the spherical roller bearings consist of two rows made of barrel-shaped rollers that run in two raceways.
The structure of the spherical roller bearings allows the bearing to operate with some misalignment.
The spherical rollers are typically barrel-shaped, which makes them robust and high-load capacity bearings.
Due to their typical structure and load capacity, they are generally used in applications like car hubs, wherein they support large radial and thrust loads.
Needle Roller Bearings
As the name suggests, the needle roller bearings use elongated cylindrical components with small diameters.
They are used in such applications, where radial space is limited, due to the small diameters used in them.
Due to their small size, they cannot support larger loads and they also produce more friction.
Needle roller bearings are used in applications that operate at low speeds and oscillating motions.
The thrust bearings, as the name suggests, are designed to bear larger thrust loads. There are roller and ball thrust bearings.
Roller thrust bearings slide within a roller-race contact to handle the variation that arises on the surface due to speed.
Ball thrust bearings are specifically designed to bear the low-speed and low-weight thrust loads
You can also find cylindrical thrust bearings under this category.
Ball thrust bearings are limited to 30% of the speed of their counterpart while roller thrust bearings are limited to 20% of the speed of its radial bearings counterpart.
If you see around, you will find lots of bearings and their types. Each of the applications you use, consists of one or the other type of bearings, depending on the load capacity. Take a visit to Bearing Boys and have a look at a variety of bearings used in day-to-day applications.