There are several types of bearings, which are used for different applications. The most common ones are ball bearings, ball thrust bearings, tapered roller bearings, roller thrust bearings and roller bearings.
Types of Bearings and Their Applications
Among all types of bearings, ball bearings are the most common. They can be seen almost everywhere, from hard drives to inline skates. They are capable of handling thrust and radial loads. They are generally used to support a relatively small load.
When support for large thrust loads is needed, roller thrust bearings can do the job. They are often used in gear sets, such as car transmissions in between gears and in between the rotating shafts and housing. Helical gears often used in many transmissions contain angled teeth, which brings about a thrust load that has to use a bearing for support.
These types of bearing have the ability to support large thrust and radial loads. Tapered roller bearings can be found in car hubs. They are often mounted in pairs that face opposite ways, so they can support thrust in two directions.
Applications such as conveyor belt rollers, where heavy radial loads need to be supported, make use of roller bearings. The roller of these bearings is a cylinder, so the point of contact between the inner and outer race is a line, and not a point. The load is spread out across a large area, enabling the bearing to support much heavier loads, as compared to a ball bearing. This type of bearing, though, cannot support much thrust loading.
The way roller bearings work can be shown when a large wooden block is pulled across a surface. Since it is heavy, it takes a lot of time and effort to move it from one place to another. However, when this is placed above some metal pipes and pulled, it is easier to move the block, since there is a decrease in friction and the pipes are moving constantly.
Roller bearing systems come in several different types and designs, and they can be used in industrial and machine applications. Cylindrical roller bearings have a metal collar with a smaller, toothed wheel within. Inside the wheel there are ball bearings, and the teeth holds them in place. When the load is being transported, the wheel turns, while the load's weight stays stationary directly above the spherical ball bearings within the cylinder.
While roller bearing systems can be complicated, most of them have a simple design and engineering. One of the most common, basic systems are the bearings used under heavy items. These roller bearings are used in machine applications such as a conveyor belt. The roller unit lets the heavier item be moved effortlessly by means of friction reduction and distribution of the object's weight.
The quantity of ball bearings inside a roller bearing helps reduce the size of force needed to make the object move. When the ball bearings that come into contact with the bearing housing and the object are increased in number, the friction is smaller. The reason behind this is the fact that every ball bearing distributes the weight, spreading it out in a line. This enables the bearing wheel to turn with ease and the objects to move easily.