How Do I Choose the Best Bearings for My Particular Application?

The first ball-bearing mechanism was created and patented by a Welsh iron master named Philip Vaughan back in 1794! From their humble beginnings where they were used for improving carriages, now ball bearings are used on a mass scale.

Companies use bearings for so many applications these days. It would be almost impossible to list them all out! What’s more important, if you are a company, is to know which are the best bearings for your particular needs.

In this short guide, we’ll run through some common bearings types and what applications make use of them. So, let’s get started!

Ball and Roller Bearings

The manufacturing industry uses ball or roller bearings in various machinery types from automotive transmissions through to boiler feed pumps. It’s common to have metal rollers, but you can get plastic rollers with bearings that run much quieter than metal ones like aluminum bearings.

Some of the best plastic versions do not need lubrication, nor do they wear out the track or rail. They also work in below zero temperatures and high-load bearing capacities. You might see these types of bearings in conveyors, cameras, medical equipment, and automated applications.

Mounted Bearings

These earing bearing types are common to see on conveyor applications and shat linkages. Manufacturers house these bearings inside threaded mounted or bolt-on type components.

Their main use is to minimize the friction of shafts as well as station machine members. Their cartridge designs mean they are easy to replace. You often see them in mid-to-low speed applications.

Slide Bearings

Slide bearings provide one-dimensional movement between two structures. You can see them being used in industrial and commercial buildings. One of their most popular uses is for bridges.

They’re great for reducing shock and vibrations and they can handle thermal movement. The limited movement range of these earings means they are also applicable for various other civil engineering purposes.

Jewel Bearings

Jewel bearings do not have rolling parts and are very small. Many watches use these tiny bearings to function, but you’ll find them in various other precision instruments like gyroscopes.

Makers of these bearings use materials like sapphires and rubies along with synthetic materials. Jewel bearings tend to be used when the loads are very small.

Frictionless Bearings

Frictionless bearings are very different from traditional bearing types. Many have electro-mechanical elements for them to function. If a manufacturer wants ultra-high precision, they may choose frictionless bearings for their designs.

One common type of frictionless bearings is air bearings. The air pressurized into the bearing casing acts as a lubricant to separate surfaces. These bearings tend to work when the surfaces move in relative motion, like in rotating shafts, for example.

Choose the Best Bearings for the Job

Now you know a little more about some of the common bearing types on the market. Some good advice is to spend a little time researching to find the best bearings for your needs.

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