Bearings are a staple hardware component of assemblies with moving parts, acting to facilitate motion while deterring the amount of friction that is generated during standard operations. There are many types of bearings that may be used for projects, the choice often varying based on the assembly in question and the various loads or forces that it may feature. Ball bearings in particular are one of the most widely used subtypes, finding regular implementation in rotary applications as a result of their ability to provide smooth motion while loads are optimally transferred.
In their most basic form, ball bearings are hardware components that feature an inner and outer race with balls running between them. The ball acts to maintain a clearance between both races, and their motion deters friction to a much greater degree than if two flat surfaces were sliding against one another. Typically, ball bearings are the type of bearing one wants to use if axial and radial loads are present in the assembly, as the races allow for such loads to be transferred through the balls.
While one race of the bearing remains static, the other will be attached to a rotating component like a hub or shaft. As the race rotates, so do the balls. As a result of this basic interaction, ball bearings generally exhibit a lower load-carrying capacity when compared to similar types of bearing components. Additionally, they may flatten over time, leading to a loss of their lifespan if they are exposed to excessive pressure for a long duration. Nevertheless, the design of ball bearings allows for some misalignment to occur between races, that of which may be beneficial in some instances.
Ball bearings come in a number of forms that slightly differ in design and capabilities, making it important that you procure the right type for your needs. Radial ball bearings are quite common, and they can take on axial and radial loads. Deep groove bearings can take on certain types of axial and radial loads, and they are generally implemented within an assembly when the radial load is the primary type. For loads that are primarily axial, the angular contact ball bearing is beneficial. For pure thrust loads, the thrust ball bearing is useful, but it cannot take on radial loads. The final common type of ball bearing is the self-aligning variation, that of which can take on light axial and radial loads while presenting self-aligning capabilities.
Beyond considering the type of ball bearing that you may require, specifications and material construction are also important factors. The outside diameter and overall width of the bearing may constrain its application, while the bore measurement may be conical or hexagonal. Meanwhile, choosing materials is important for ensuring corrosion resistance, strength, and galvanization avoidance. Once you determine which parts are best for your individual needs, let the experts at NSN Catalog help you secure everything with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times.
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