The Working Principles of Ball Bearings

June 7, 2021

Bearings are machine elements that can reduce the friction between moving parts by restricting relative motion to only the desired motion. There are tons of bearing types that can be used by industries. And one of them is the ball bearings.

Ball bearings are rolling-element bearings that maximise balls in maintaining the movement and separation of the bearing races. Just like other bearings, they can reduce the friction between moving parts. They can also support radial and axial loads by utilising the bearing races in containing the balls and transmitting the loads through the balls.

Generally, one of the bearing races of these bearings stays stationary while the other one moves with the rotating assembly. Moreover, the balls’ rolling action allows them to achieve a low coefficient of friction.

Structure of Ball Bearings 

These bearings can perform optimally in certain applications due to the presence of multiple rows of balls that can be found between inner and outer bearing races. As previously stated, one of the races is attached to the rotating assembly or shaft. Once the rotating assembly moves, the balls inside the races also roll around the raceway. The other bearing race, alternatively, remains stationary throughout the operations. The way these bearing races behave is truly effective in achieving extremely low friction coefficient, which makes them suitable for high speed and low friction applications.

Thrust and Radial Loads

Two types of loads are often handled by ball bearings. These loads are thrust loads and radial loads. Thrust loads are forces that behave parallel to the bearing axis. Radial loads, alternatively, behave perpendicular to the bearing axis. The ability to withstand both loads make ball bearings useful for applications with light to moderate load requirements. 

Applications with higher load requirements may not be able to maximise ball bearings since they generally have low load capacity. The low load capacity of these bearings is due to the presence of a small contact area of their balls and their bearing races.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Given the structure and load support of ball bearings, they can grant numerous benefits to industrial applications. For one, they can provide low friction without losing too much energy. They likewise have good wear resistance and long service life. They also do not require too much lubrication as opposed to other types of bearings. They can be cheap, which makes replacement easier.

Even with these benefits, ball bearings can still have some limitation and drawbacks. One of the limitations of these bearings is that they can emit some noise. They can also break whenever unexpected shocks are present. They likewise cannot work with applications that have heavy load requirements.

There are tons of ball bearing types that you can utilise. If you need some quality ball bearings, feel free to reach us at Global Bearing Imports. We have extensive experience in sourcing and supplying many types of bearings for all industrial and automotive applications. Our extensive network of worldwide suppliers gives us access to inventory throughout the year.

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