What Are Flanged Ball Bearings?

November 9, 2015

The dictionary definition of the term flange describes a physical ridge or lip, a rim or collar that projects from a rolled edge. It grants a component extra strength and, at least in the case of pipes, provides a fastening plate that enables the two sections to be bound together. It’s a little different with flanged ball bearings. There are no pipes or conduits in evidence here, but the projecting collar is still very much part of the design. It seems to suggest, visually, that the component is formed with the express intent of marrying the bearing to an accompanying seating mechanism.

Flanges Provide Additional Mounting Options 

The supporting rim or collar on flanged ball bearings is indeed there to add precision-mounting assistance. The internal mechanism still adopts the familiar structure we all know and identify with ball bearings, the coaxial pairing of alloy-reinforced rings and lubricated balls, but the free-roaming external mount is transformed. The flange can be as generic as a plain collar, but bearing catalogues show page-after-page of variants with more complex outlines. Squared flanges carry special inserts and cutaways for fasteners. Dual-edged versions half this profile and provide delicately tapered protrusions. Again, a pair of openings provide screw or bolt openings for the flange, ensuring the component fits snugly to its housing.

Applications and Advantages of Flanged Ball Bearings 

When a bearing needs to be precisely fixed to a plate, the flange bearing is drafted into service. The bearing is particularly adept at functioning as an anchoring component within smaller housings and delicate machinery, though larger adjustable pillow block variants are available. These are used in the conveyor industry for pulley housings and other domains where fine control and periodic adjustment is a prerequisite for mechanical work. Small, polymer-based variants provide tiny bearings for instrumentation gear. Slightly larger thermoplastic models put radial motion durability into weather station anemometers. High performance medical apparatus, machines that depend on rotating mechanisms, also rely on these tiny friction-cancelling ball bearings, because an element of precision placement has been added to the mix.

Ball bearings that come equipped with this handy fitting collar are just as versatile as their non-flanged cousins. Additionally, shearing effects and transient loads are efficiently handled by the flange design because of the anchoring effect, a feature that reduces undesirable resonance events and keeps the part on the cutting-edge of smooth operation. And, one final note, the two or four lug fasteners attached to these bearings often offer a pinch of configuring aptitude, with one of the fasteners adopting a slotted profile so that the bearing can be finitely moved to accommodate configuration needs. Again, this feature is highly desirable when incorporated within conveyor systems and factory processing stations.

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