Roller bearings are bearings that contain balls that separate their two moving parts. Bearings facilitate the work of moving parts and support weight. Many everyday items contain roller bearings. Examples of such items include vehicles, luggage wheels, ice skates, and computer hard drives. Giant roller bearings can be used to make modern buildings shockproof.
The purpose of using bearings is to facilitate the rolling of inanimate objects. It's better to roll the products rather than slide them, as the amount of friction at play during rolling is much lower.
A roller bearing basically has several smooth spheres sandwiched between its two smooth surfaces. For example, the wheels of ice skates consist of a smooth inner ring and another outer ring. The area within the two rings contains the ball that carries the load, while allowing its two rings to rotate, but keeping friction to a minimum for fast and efficient movement.
Friction is minimized due to the very small surface contact of roller bearings. They spin very smoothly. They can be used under radial and thrust load conditions. Radial loads create pressure on the side of the bearing, thrust loads are direct weight.
The biggest limitation of a roller bearing is that it cannot carry much weight due to its small weight. Due to the small contact area, it is easy to deform when subjected to excessive pressure. Then, some bearing designs make them very noisy.
However, we can get roller bearings with some extraordinary structural features, such as sealed and shielded types.
What is special about this bearing is that it protects its rolling parts from external dirt and grime. Usually, special rubber or plastic is used to make this kind of shield.
This bearing is completely sealed and contains lubricant. Its design prevents other fluids from entering the rolling area while also preventing the lubricant contained within from escaping.
These ball bearings are often used in equipment that operates at high speeds, such as electric motors. They can withstand large radial forces for long periods of time. Sealed and shielded versions are designed to make these bearings suitable for operation in dirty and dusty environments. A seal or shield protects the bearing by preventing foreign matter from entering the bearing and retaining grease in it.
Generally, roller bearings are capable of high speed operation, but their load carrying capacity is mediocre. They can only carry moderate loads and are most commonly used in household items such as mixers, grinders, fans, etc.
Although roller bearings can carry considerable radial loads, they can only carry limited axial loads. Therefore, we cannot use these bearings for applications involving heavy axial loads.
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