How it’s Made: A Better Mounted Bearing


Posted on Sat, Aug 1st, 2015 in: Industry



Without bearings, there truly is no industry.

It's important to remember that bearings allow for smooth, low-friction movement between two surfaces. So what are the elements that make up a mounted bearing? For starters, there are different types of bearings and these bearings have slightly different elements and mechanisms that create its shape, size, and give it functionality.

Ball bearings have a ball as the rolling element. They are used to provide smooth, low-friction motion in rotary applications. Construction consists of an inner and outer ring, balls, and usually a cage or ball separator.

Plain bearing and bushings/sleeve bearings, also called journal bearings, are used to constrain, guide, or reduce friction in linear applications. They work by means of sliding action as opposed to the rolling action used by ball, roller, and needle bearings. Lubrication is crucial to the operation of plain bearings. The application and function of the bearing is frequently referred to based on the type of lubrication used. The lubrication principles listed are designated for particular types of plain bearings:

1) Fluid film
2) Self-lubricated
3) Hydrostatic
4) Hydrodynamic

Needle roller bearings have a needle roller as the rolling element. They are similar to cylindrical roller bearings but have a smaller diameter-to-length ratio. By controlling the circumferential clearance between rollers or needles, rolling elements are kept parallel to the shaft axis. Needle roller bearings are designed for radial load applications where a low profile is desired.

Roller bearings have a roller as the rolling element. They are used to provide smooth, low-friction motion in rotary applications. Construction consists of an inner and outer ring, rollers, and usually a cage or roller separator. There are three principal types of roller bearings:

1) Cylindrical – These rollers have a slightly greater length than diameter
2) Spherical – This is a self-aligning, double row, and combination radial and thrust bearing
3) Tapered – These rollers use conical rollers that run on conical races. They can support both radial and axial loads as well as carry higher loads than ball bearings due to having a greater contact area. They are usually more expensive.

Also, note that a stunning 80% of mounted bearing failures are directly caused by problems with sealing and lubrication.

Seals do two critical things:

1) They keep solid and liquid contamination from entering the bearing.

2) They prevent grease or oil purging, ensuring optimal lubrication of the rolling elements and reducing overheating.

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