Roller vs. Slider Linear Motion Bearings: What are the Differences?

March 26, 2021

Linear motion bearings are bearings that are intended to deliver motion in one, single direction. What is great about these bearings is that they can generate much less friction compared to other types of bearings. They can likewise eradicate the stick-slip effect that is present on other bearings.

There are two types of linear motion bearings that you can choose from. These types are roller linear motion bearings and slider linear motion bearings. Both bearings can be beneficial for certain applications. However, knowing them fully allows you to choose the best type of bearings for your applications and yield better performance and improved outcomes.

The following are some notable differences between the two types of linear motion bearings. 

Bearing Assembly

The manufacturing and assembly process of roller linear motion bearings can be complicated. The fit of their tracks and ball bearings must be done properly to avoid too high adjustments, undesirable rattling, and excessive noise. As for slider linear motion bearings, they only need fewer sliding elements, which makes their assembly much easier than the roller ones. Moreover, the tolerances of their rails do not have to be tight, allowing their overall manufacturing process to be much cheaper.

Adjustment Force

The adjustment force or effort of linear motion bearings comes from the force generated and load applied to a specific application. Roller linear motion bearings are known to have much lower friction rates compared to other types of bearings, which means you can utilise them for applications that only require minimum adjustment force. These bearings can also be used for applications that handle heavy loads. Slider linear motion bearings, alternatively, can be maximised in applications that do not have high loads. 

Overall Length

Both the outer and inner rails of linear motion bearings are linked to each other given that they do not utilise slip. And as these bearings move, the steel ball inside them rotates towards the rails. This connection alone means that a bearing’s possible adjustment length will entirely depend on the length of both its inner and outer rail. Slider linear motion bearings, at this point, will be much preferable to the roller ones given that the former’s outer rail is fixated to their inner rail.

General Upkeep

Just like other types of bearings, some of them require lubrication to make them work effectively. Slider linear motion bearings are known to be self-lubricating given that some of their polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) particles wear off and stick to their rails. Combining these particles with a low coefficient of friction results in a self-lubrication effect of the slider linear motion bearings, which makes them great for applications in harsh environments. Roller linear motion bearings, alternatively, require some type of grease for them to effectively withstand corrosion and abrasion as well as reduce noise.

If you need to buy these types of linear motion bearings, feel free to give us a call at Global Bearing Imports. We have extensive experience in sourcing and supplying various types of bearings for all industrial and automotive applications. We are likewise experienced in identifying and locating several types of bearings and are often able to supply within 1 week of confirmed orders.

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