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5 Common Types of Bearings You Should Know Of

Types of Bearings

Bearings are commonly used for most of the machines we use on a daily basis. Most people don’t even know about the importance of bearings and the few who do aren’t aware that there are different types of bearings.

Different types of bearings are made to handle different kinds of loads—radial, thrust, and a combination of the two. This is why different machines and vehicles use different types of bearings (not just in terms of size).

Here are the most common types of bearings you should know of:

1. Ball Bearings

Probably the most common type of bearing, ball bearings are found in a lot of things such as inline skates, hard drives, and such. This type can efficiently handle both radial and thrust loads but this doesn’t mean that they can handle heavy loads.

Ball Bearings

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The load is generally transmitted from the outer race to the ball and, finally, to the inner race. This ensures minimal metal to metal contact—thanks to its rotating balls—which effectively reduces friction. Take note that ball bearings are prone to deforming if under too much load.

2. Roller Bearings

Roller bearings are used in different applications such as conveyor belt rollers. This type can only handle heavy radial loads, so don’t expect it to handle any thrust loads.

Roller Bearings

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Load is generally spread out over a larger area—thanks to its cylindrical roller—and its design allows heavier loads compared to ball bearings. Friction is also efficiently reduced by its cylindrical roller design and a common variation (for smaller applications) is the needle bearing.

3. Ball Thrust Bearings

Ball thrust bearings are used only for low-speed applications and they cannot handle a lot of radial load. You can find this type of bearing in Lazy Susan turntables and barstools.

Ball Thrust Bearings

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This type of bearing exclusively handles thrust loads only in low-speed, low-weight applications. It’s not as sturdy as the two types of bearings above but it does have its uses.

4. Roller Thrust Bearings

Roller thrust bearings are well-known for their capability to support large thrust loads. These are commonly found in gear sets for car transmissions and between the housing and rotating shaft. Take note that helical gears have angled teeth—requiring a roller thrust bearing to support the thrust load.

Roller Thrust Bearings

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This type of bearing only handles thrust loads but this type can support heavier loads compared to ball thrust bearings. This is why you can commonly find this type in car transmissions.

5. Tapered Roller Bearings

Tapered roller bearings are great for applications that require support for large radial and thrust loads. These are usually used in car hubs and mounted in pairs facing opposite directions to help handle thrust loads in both directions.

Tapered Roller Bearings

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This type of bearing has the most versatility when it comes to load handling.

Keep these types of bearings in mind—you’ll never know how important this information can be (especially if you own a lot of machines, vehicles, or devices). We hope you found this article informational and helpful.

For your bearing needs, we have every type of bearing and a wide variety of models available in our online store. Make sure to check them out!



Following stints as a web content writer and social media expert, Antonio Richard has spent almost his entire career in online writing, he has worked for different World’s top rank directories and social sites and his most popular work can see in the field of Tech, Auto and Social Media.


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