What Are The Different Types Of Ball Bearings, And What Are Their Applications?
Rolling-element bearings are used to ensure smooth, efficient operation in many machines with rotary motion—from car wheels, engines and turbines to medical equipment. A ball bearing is a type of rolling-element bearing that serves three main functions while it facilitates motion: it carries loads, reduces friction and positions moving machine parts.
Ball bearings use balls to separate two “races,” or bearing rings, to reduce surface contact and friction across moving planes. The rotation of the balls causes a reduced coefficient of friction when compared with flat surfaces rubbing against each other. Because there is little surface contact between the balls and races, ball bearings typically have a lower load capacity for their size than other rolling-element bearings.
There are a variety of different designs and applications for ball bearings, and their design is specific to their industrial application and load type. Some common designs of ball bearings include:
Angular Contact Bearings: designed to work under combined radial and axial loads.
Axial Bearings: also called thrust ball bearings, these are designed to work under force applied parallel to the bearing’s axis, or thrust loads.
Deep-Groove Bearings: designed to carry both radial and light axial loads.
Linear Bearings: designed to allow movement in one direction along a linear axis.
Self-aligning Ball Bearings: bearings with two sets of balls that are self-aligning and to carry both radial and light axial loads.
High-Speed Angular Contact Bearings: another type of precision ball bearing is a high-speed angular contact bearing. As the name implies, high-speed bearings are designed to handle high RPMs with precision and accuracy.