As one of the most commonly used types of bearings, ball bearings have a variety of different designs, each with its own unique characteristics for di
As one of the most commonly used types of bearings, ball bearings have a variety of different designs, each with its own unique characteristics for different types of applications. Although it can be difficult to determine which type of bearing is best for your application, most bearing manufacturers and major suppliers like Abdul Traders have experts who can provide insight and answer questions. Here are the most common types of ball bearings and the applications they are used for:
Deep groove ball bearings
These bearings feature deep-running grooves; the inner and outer rings have arches that are slightly larger than the balls. The otherwise basic design gives this type of bearing a high degree of versatility, and they are very commonly used for a variety of applications. They are excellent for high speeds, have high radial load capacity, and can support axial loads in both directions.
They operate quietly, require little maintenance, and produce low torque, which means low coefficients of friction and low operating temperatures. Applications and industries include:
– Food processing
– Agricultural machinery
– Machine tools
– Wind energy
– Railroad and transportation
– Material Handling
– Medical and pharmaceutical equipment
These bearings are available as single or double row bearings, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Generally, single-row bearings offer higher accuracy but are usually installed in pairs. Double-row bearings eliminate the need for a second bearing and can withstand greater loads.
Angular contact ball bearings
Angular contact ball bearings contain raceways that are offset from each other in the direction parallel to the bearing axis. This design allows them to support a combination of radial and axial loads simultaneously. Smaller contact angle designs allow for higher speeds, while larger contact angle designs provide higher axial load capacity.
These bearings are also available as single or double row bearings. Single-row bearings are more precise and minimize friction coefficients and wobble problems. Double-row bearings save space by requiring only one bearing to be installed, provide higher load-carrying capacity, and avoid multiple bearing problems such as runout and diameter matching. They can be used in a variety of industries, including agriculture, chemical, and utilities:
– Packaging and conveyor systems
Four-point contact ball bearings
These bearings have a unique design in which the inner ring is split into two parts, which means that the balls have four points of contact with the raceways when subjected to radial loads, hence the name “four-point contact”. This allows the bearings to support axial loads in both directions as well as a combination of radial and axial loads. Compared to angular contact ball bearings, these bearings are designed for harsher conditions and can withstand high loads.
They are particularly suitable for loads with high oscillating motion. Four-point bearings also eliminate the need for a second matched bearing and save space compared to double-row bearings. That means they also avoid wobble and multiple bearing problems and offer low coefficients of friction. They are preferred in applications with low to medium speeds, such as
– Automatic opening systems
– Electric motors
– Fitness equipment
– Machining equipment
– Industrial and agricultural machines
Self-aligning ball bearings
Self-aligning ball bearings have two rows of balls, an outer ring with a spherical raceway and an inner ring with two deep raceways. These bearings can automatically correct misalignments caused by machining of the housing or shaft, or by an installation error. They also have extremely low coefficients of friction, low maintenance, high speeds, and excellent noise damping.
Although they specialize in correcting misalignment, they are very versatile and provide reliable performance at low loads. These bearings are suitable for low-load applications, typically with very long shafts, where misalignment is common, such as gearboxes and textile machinery. Other applications include agricultural machinery and heavy machinery.
Axial ball bearings
These bearings have disc-shaped rings with grooved raceways so that they can support axial loads only. They can be designed for single or double direction axial loads and can also compensate for misalignment using spherical alignment seats or alignment seat washers. Applications include those with high axial loads and low or no radial loads, such as:
– Electric motors
– automotive motors
– Axle assemblies
Precision Ball Bearings
Precision ball bearings can be any type of ball bearing designed for extremely improved accuracy to enhance performance at high speeds and under strenuous conditions. They are usually more expensive and are used only when superior technology is required for the application. There are also high-precision bearings that use optimal materials and designs to achieve extremely improved precision, rotational speed, stiffness, noise reduction, operating life, and minimal friction and heat generation.
Applications include those with high precision requirements, such as medical and industrial handpieces or engineering mechanisms. Industries include:
– Machine Tools
General Ball Bearing Variations
While these types of ball bearings are each designed for a different application, there is also a variety of bearing variations that can affect performance. Bearing and cage materials, such as different types of steel, polyamides, or ceramics, can affect a bearing’s speed and temperature characteristics. Ceramic bearings are often used for very demanding environments because of their durability and low coefficients of friction, but they are more brittle and do not compensate well for misalignment.
The type of seal and shielding can affect bearing longevity, maintenance requirements, and ease of installation, and should be considered if the bearing must be installed and removed frequently. In addition, the size and number of balls in a bearing determine the load-carrying capacity, which is critical depending on the load requirements of the application.