What are Ball Bearings?

A classification of rotary bearing, ball bearings are mechanical tools that facilitate three main functions of moving parts when attached to a rotating assembly. Critical for carrying loads, reducing friction, and positioning parts, ball bearings also come in a variety of designs for optimal placement within an assembly. Of the many types of bearings available, ball bearings are known for their unique, yet simple, structure that is capable of supporting two load types: thrust and radial loads. Consisting of balls with a smooth outer surface encased in one or more rings or raceways, ball bearings dramatically reduce friction so long as each type is used for their respective applications. For a quick introduction to the many types of ball bearings available, we will go over their common types and how they should be applied to function best in an assembly.

Deep-Groove Ball Bearing

Considered amongst the more proliferate ball bearing assemblies used, deep-groove ball bearings are simple in design and make for easy maintenance when inspection or replacement is needed. Prone to less complications from stressors due to their lesser-than-average sensitivity to their various operating conditions, such ball bearings are the perfect companion for absorbing radial and axial forces in both directions. Deep-groove ball bearings also require lower torque when rotation is activated, meaning that these components are well suited for high-speed applications.

Angular Contact Ball Bearing

Best employed where combined loads between axial and radial forces are of high importance, angular contact ball bearings work by transferring loads between each angled ball in a raceway. Determined by their contact angle, the carrying capacity of an angular contact ball bearing increases as its angle of contact increases. However, they typically do not exceed a 45 degree angle. Ideal for high-speed machinery typically found in the material handling, machine tooling, milling, wind energy, and other related industry applications, these bearings are your optimal choice for gearboxes, pumps, clutches, electric motors, and much more.

Self-Aligning Ball Bearing

Self-aligning ball bearings are always constructed with a cage and a double row of balls aligned in an inner ring of raceways. Caged within a two-track raceway, self-aligning ball bearings obtain their self-aligning properties through the use of an exterior ring constructed with interchanging  raceways. These interchanging raceways allow balls from the inner raceway to adjust paths if necessary, sliding into the outer ring when misalignment is detected. Often used for equipment like transmission shafts, self-aligning ball bearings tolerate small angular misalignment as radial loads.

Thrust Ball Bearing

Thrust bearings are specifically used for absorbing axial forces in a single direction. Often referred to as axial bearings, thrust ball bearings come built with two side-by-side rings affixed with identical raceways. Though efficient in supporting forces parallel to the bearings axis, thrust ball bearings work best when used for low thrust applications where little axial load is present.

When considering your next ball bearing replacement, one must also keep in mind the different types of ball bearing materials available. Manufactured in steel, steel alloys, ceramic, and plastic varieties, bearing materials chosen for the wrong application have a high chance of resulting in part failure, and ultimately, system damage. According to their use, ball bearing varieties can also extend in size, making it imperative that you have your part specifications in mind for easy part identification and selection. No matter your bearing issues, if you are in need of new bearings for your installations, let us at ASAP Purchasing give you a hand!

As a streamlined service for all of your part requirement needs, we invite you to browse our inventory for numerous bearings ready to be put to work. Whether you require radial ball bearings, duplex ball bearings, ball bearing screws, or other components, ASAP Purchasing is here to streamline and expedite any one of your orders for immediate procurement. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, alongside our NO CHINA sourcing pledge. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.  


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