Features and Types of Rolling Bearings

In general, bearings are specialized components that assist an object’s rotation. Typically supporting the shaft that rotates inside machinery, bearings are found in automobiles, aircraft, electric generators, and more. As they find countless uses, bearings are available in varying types, one of which is called a rolling bearing.

Rolling bearings, or roller bearings, are utilized to replace sliding movement with low friction, such as aiding in rolling motions observed in rotary applications. The principle subtypes of this category of bearings include cylindrical, spherical, tapered, and needle roller variations. Before getting into each type’s distinctions, we will cover their design.
Consisting of two rings, rolling elements, and a cage, roller bearings are usually classified as radial bearings or thrust bearings, depending on the direction of the main load. Additionally, they can be further classified by the type of rolling element used, whether that be  balls or rolling elements. Nonetheless, roller bearings of any type are designed with advantageous characteristics.
When compared with plain bearings or other types, rolling bearings offer many advantages, the first being that their starting torque and friction are low while the starting torque and running torque are small. Furthermore, with the onset of worldwide standardization, rolling bearings are internationally available, and interchangeable.
Other advantages include that their maintenance, replacement, and inspection are straightforward processes as the structure of the rolling bearings is simple. More than that, a majority of rolling bearings have the ability to handle radial and axial loads simultaneously or independently. Lastly, they can be utilized under a wide range of temperatures, and they can be preloaded to produce a negative clearance, achieving greater rigidity.
Cylindrical Roller Bearings
This type of rolling bearing is equipped with the ability to handle high radial-loads and moderate thrust loads. They contain cylindrically-shaped rollers that are either crowned or end-relieved to reduce stress concentrations. They are similar to needle roller bearings with the exception that the dimensions of diameter and roller length are closer in magnitude.
Spherical Roller Bearings
Self-aligning in nature and double-row in design, spherical roller bearings are considered combination radial and thrust bearings. These bearings utilize barrel-shaped or crown-shaped rollers that are situated between the inner ring. The inner ring itself has two raceways, while the outer ring has one spherical raceway. It is important to note that spherical roller bearings can handle heavy radial loads and some axial loads in either direction.
Tapered Roller Bearings
Tapered roller bearings consist of an inner ring (cone), outer ring (cup), cage, and rollers. It is important to keep in mind that the cage and rollers can be profiled to distribute loads evenly across the roller. During operation, tapered roller bearings create a line of contact between the rolling element and the raceway, distributing loads across a larger surface area. Depending on the contact angle, they can be subdivided into three types, those of which include normal angle, medium angle, and steep angle variations.
Needle Roller Bearings
The last type of rolling bearings are of the needle roller variety. They are considered a type of cylindrical roller bearing where the length of the roller is much larger than the diameter. In particular, needle roller bearings are designed for radial load applications where a low profile is desired. There are numerous types of needle roller bearings, some of which have no inner rings or cages. As such, one must be well aware of their application’s requirements prior to making a rolling bearing purchase.
If you find yourself in need of rolling bearings, radial bearing assemblies, radial bearing shoes, or other related components, rely on Simplified Purchasing. Simplified Purchasing is an online distributor of electronic parts, aviation products, NSN components, and more. With an inventory of over 2 billion ready-to-purchase items, customers can find everything they need with ease. Get started with a competitive quote which you can request through our Instant RFQ service, and let Simplified Purchasing fulfill your operational requirements today!


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