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Roller bearing technology

Structure of roller bearings

A roller bearing usually is comprised of: an outer ring (1), inner ring (2), the rollers (3) (balls, cylindrical rollers, needle rollers, tapered rollers or spherical rollers) and seals. The lubricant used for the bearing is tailored to each application. The rolling elements are separated usually by a cage in order to distribute the bearing load evenly over the rolling elements.

basic structure of bearings
Basic design of roller bearings - (a) ball bearing (b) track roller (c) cylindrical roller bearing

There are five basic forms of roller bearings. Each type has special properties and are therefore particularly suited for certain applications:

  1. Ball bearings
  2. Cylindrical roller bearings
  3. Needle roller bearings
  4. Tapered roller bearings
  5. Barrel roller bearings

Influential factors such as speed, temperature, lubrication are taken into account in addition to vibrations or installation and maintenance when selecting the rolling bearing design.

Roller bearings are known as radial bearings when used for predominantly radial loads. Radial ball bearings or angular contact ball bearings can accommodate combined loads.

Not suitable for thrust loads are cylindrical roller bearings, most needle roller bearings, needle roller and needle sleeve and cage assemblies.
Roller bearings known as thrust bearings are usually subjected to predominantly axial load.

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