Types of Rolling Element Bearings

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Rolling element bearings have been widely used in rotating equipment. They are designed to carry load and provide constrained motion between two or more parts. A rolling element bearing consists of outer race, rolling elements (balls, cylindrical roller, etc), inner race, and a cage to support and guide the rolling elements. Below are common types of rolling element bearings:

Cylindrical roller bearings with cage

Single row cylindrical roller bearings with cage consist of inner ring, outer ring, cylindrical rollers, and cage. The cage is designed to prevent the cylindrical rollers coming into contact with each other during operation. Cylindrical bearings are rigid and support high radial loads. This type of bearing is suitable for high speeds. 

Deep groove ball bearings

Deep groove ball bearings are probably the most common rolling element bearings used since they are durable and easy to maintain. They are available in single and double row balls, and open and sealed units. They are also suitable for high speed applications. 

Needle roller bearings

Needle roller bearings can be single or double row units. The rolling elements are needle rollers. They are mostly used in applications which have small envelope in radial direction. They can carry very high load and can be fitted easily.

Self-aligning ball bearings

Self-aligning bearings are double row units, which consist of solid outer ring with a concave raceway, inner ring with a cylindrical or tapered bore, balls, and cage. These bearings are available in open and sealed units. Self-aligning bearing design allows a small angular misalignment resulting from shaft deflection or improper mounting. 

Spherical roller bearings

Spherical roller bearings are double row units which consist of solid outer ring with a concave raceway, solid inner ring, barrel rollers, and cage. The symmetrical barrel rollers freely align themselves to the concave outer ring raceway. As a result, shaft deflections and misalignments of the bearing seats are compensated.

Roller thrust bearing

Roller thrust bearings can be used to support thrust loads – axial direction. They can be found in gear-sets like car transmissions, between gears. The helical gears used in most transmissions have angled teeth. This causes a thrust load, which has to be supported by a thrust bearing.

Types of Bearings