14 Types of Bearings: The Characteristics, Differences and Uses

Bearings are important components in machinery and equipment. Its main function is to support mechanical rotating bodies to reduce the mechanical load friction coefficient of the equipment during transmission.

  • Bearings are divided into radial bearings and thrust bearings according to different bearing directions or nominal contact angles.
  • According to the type of rolling body, it is divided into: ball bearings, roller bearings.
  • According to the ability to align, it is divided into: aligning bearings, non-aligning bearings (rigid bearings).
  • According to the number of rows of rolling elements, it is divided into: single-row bearings, double-row bearings, multi-row bearings.
  • According to the number of rows of rolling elements, it is divided into: single-row bearings, double-row bearings, multi-row bearings.
  • According to whether the parts can be separated, it is divided into: separable bearings, non-separable bearings.
  • There are also classifications by structure shape and size.

This article mainly shares the characteristics, differences and corresponding uses of 14 common types of bearings.

1. Angular Contact Ball Bearing

Angular Contact Ball Bearing

There is a contact angle between the ferrule and the ball. The standard contact angles are 15 °, 30 ° and 40 °. The larger the contact angle is, the larger the axial load capacity is. The smaller the contact angle is, the more favorable it is for high-speed rotation. The single-row bearing can bear radial load and unidirectional axially load. Structurally, two single-row angular contact ball bearings combined on the back share the inner and the outer ring, and can withstand radial and bidirectional axial loads.

Main applications:

Single line: machine tool spindle, high frequency motor, gas turbine, centrifugal separator, small car front wheel, differential pinion shaft.

Double row: oil pump, Roots blower, air compressor, various transmissions, fuel injection pump, printing machinery.

2. Spherical Ball Bearing

Spherical Ball Bearing

Double-row steel balls, the outer ring raceway is an inner spherical type, so it can automatically adjust the misalignment of the shaft caused by the deflection or misalignment of the shaft or shell. Tapered roller bearings can be easily mounted on the shaft through the use of fasteners, mainly bearing radial loads.

Main applications:

Woodworking machinery, textile machinery transmission shaft, vertical self-aligning bearing with box.

3. Spherical Roller Bearing

Spherical Roller Bearing

This type of bearing is equipped with spherical rollers between the outer ring of the spherical raceway and the inner ring of the double raceway. According to the internal structure, it is divided into four types: R, RH, RHA and SR. Since the arc center of the outer ring raceway is consistent with the bearing center, it has self-aligning performance. Therefore, the axis misalignment caused by the deflection or misalignment of the shaft or the shell can be automatically adjusted, and it can bear radial load and bidirectional axial load.

Main applications:

Paper making machinery, reduction gears, railway vehicle axles, rolling mill gear box seats, rolling mill roller tables, crushers, vibrating screens, printing machinery, woodworking machinery, various industrial reducers, vertical self-aligning bearings with boxes and so on.

4. Thrust Spherical Roller Bearings

Thrust Spherical Roller Bearings

In this type of bearings, spherical rollers are arranged obliquely. Because the raceway surface of the raceway is spherical and has self-aligning performance, it can allow the shaft to tilt slightly. It’s axial load capacity is very large. While bearing axial load, it can also bear several radial loads. Generally, it is lubricated with oil when in use.

Main applications:

Hydro-generators, vertical electric motors, propeller shafts for ships, reducers for rolling screws of rolling mills, tower cranes, coal mills, extruders, forming machines.

5. Tapered Roller Bearing

Tapered Roller Bearing

These bearings are equipped with round table rollers. The rollers are guided by the large ribs of the inner ring. The apexes of the tapered surfaces of the inner ring raceway surface, outer ring raceway surface and roller rolling surface are designed to intersect at a point on the bearing center line. Single-row bearings can support radial and unidirectional axial loads, and double-row bearings can support radial and bidirectional axial loads, which are suitable for bearing heavy and shock loads.

Main applications:

Automotive: front wheels, rear wheels, transmissions, differential pinion shafts.

Machine tool spindle, construction machinery, large agricultural machinery, railway vehicle gear reduction device, rolling mill roll neck and reduction device.

6. Deep Groove Ball Bearing

Deep Groove Ball Bearing

Structurally, each ring of a deep groove ball bearing has a continuous groove-shaped raceway with a cross section approximately one third of the equator circumference of the ball. Deep groove ball bearings are mainly used to support radial loads and can also bear certain axial loads.

When the radial clearance of the bearing increases, it has the properties of an angular contact ball bearing and can withstand axial loads that alternate in two directions. Compared with other types of bearings of the same size, this type of bearing has a small friction coefficient, high limiting speed, and high accuracy, and is the preferred bearing type when users select a type.

Main applications:

Automobiles, tractors, machine tools, motors, pumps, agricultural machinery, textile machinery, etc.

7. Thrust Ball Bearings

Thrust Ball Bearings

It consists of a washer-shaped raceway ring with a raceway, a ball and a cage assembly. The raceway ring that cooperates with the shaft is called the shaft ring, and the raceway ring that cooperates with the housing is called the seat ring. Two-way bearings match the center ring with a dense shaft. One-way bearings can support unidirectional axial loads, and two-way bearings can support bidirectional axial loads (neither can bear radial loads).

Main applications:

Automotive steering pins, machine tool spindles.

8. Thrust Roller Bearing

Thrust Roller Bearing

Thrust roller bearings are used for shafts that are mainly subjected to axial loads. Combined load in the warp direction, but the load in the warp direction must not exceed 55% of the axial load. Compared with other thrust roller bearings, this type of bearing has a lower friction coefficient, higher speed, and self-aligning ability. 29000 type rollers are asymmetric spherical rollers, which can reduce the relative sliding of rollers and raceways during work, and the rollers are long and large in diameter. The number of rollers is large and the load capacity is large. Oil lubrication is usually used. Grease lubrication can be used for low speed.

Main applications:

Hydraulic generators, crane hooks and etc.

9. Cylindrical Roller Bearing

Cylindrical Roller Bearing

Cylindrical roller bearings are usually guided by the two ribs of a bearing ring. The cage roller and the guide ring form an assembly, which can be separated from another bearing ring, and belongs to a separable bearing.

This type of bearing is easy to install and disassemble, especially when the inner and outer rings are required to have an interference fit with the shaft and housing. These bearings are generally only used to support radial loads. Only single row bearings with ribs on the inner and outer rings can withstand small steady axial loads or large intermittent axial loads.

Main applications:

Large-scale motors, machine tool spindles, axle boxes, diesel crankshafts, automobiles, transformers, etc.

10. Four-point Contact Ball Bearing

Four-point Contact Ball Bearing

It can bear radial load and bidirectional axial load. A single bearing can replace the angular contact ball bearing of the front combination or the back combination. It is suitable for bearing pure axial load or synthetic load with large axial load component. This type of bearing can form one of the contact angles when subjected to axial loads in any direction, so the ferrule and the ball are always in three-point point contact on both sides of the contact line.

Main applications:

Aircraft jet engines, gas turbines.

11. Thrust cylindrical roller bearing

Thrust cylindrical roller bearing

It is composed of washer-shaped raceway ring (shaft washer, seat ring), cylindrical roller and cage assembly. Cylindrical rollers are processed with a convex surface, so the pressure distribution between the roller and the raceway surface is uniform. It can withstand unidirectional axial load and has large axial load capacity, and strong axial rigidity.

Main applications:

Petroleum rigs, iron and steel machinery.

12. Needle Thrust Bearing

Needle Thrust Bearing

The separate bearing is composed of a raceway ring, a needle roller and a cage assembly, and can be arbitrarily combined with a stamped thin raceway or a cut thick raceway.  The non-separable bearing is a kind of integral bearing composed of a precision stamped raceway ring, a needle roller and a cage assembly, and can withstand unidirectional axial loads. This type of bearing occupies a small space, which is conducive to the compact design of the machine. Most of them only use needle roller and cage components, and use the mounting surface of the shaft and housing as the raceway surface.

Main applications:

Transmissions for automobiles, tillers, machine tools, etc.

13. Taper Roller Thrust Bearing

Taper Roller Thrust Bearing

This type of bearing is equipped with a round table roller (the big end is spherical), and the roller is accurately guided by the raceway ring (shaft ring, seat ring) ribs. The design makes the apex of each conical surface of the shaft washer, the roller surface of the saddle ring and the rolling surface of the rollers intersect at a point on the bearing center line. One-way bearings can support unidirectional axial loads, and two-way bearings can support bidirectional axial loads.

Main applications:

One-way: crane hook, swivel ring of oil rig

Two-way: Rolling mill roll neck

14. Outer Spherical Ball Bearing with Housing

Outer Spherical Ball Bearing with Housing

Outer spherical ball bearings with housings are composed of sealed outer spherical ball bearings on both sides and cast (or stamped steel plate) bearing housings. The internal structure of the outer spherical ball bearing is the same as that of the deep groove ball bearing, but the inner ring of this bearing is wider than the outer ring. The outer ring has a truncated spherical outer surface. It can automatically align with the concave spherical surface of the bearing seat.

Main applications:

Mining, metallurgy, agriculture, chemical industry, textile, printing and dyeing, transportation machinery, etc.

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