In an industry where technology is constantly advancing, best installation and maintenance practices of the parts that keep our applications functioning day-to-day, often get overlooked.
That’s why we’re going back to the basics. With the help of this easy guide, you’ll soon be able to better Identify Bearings in your own workplace.
At the heart of any industrial business, bearings are working hard to keep essential applications and equipment up and running. While their role isn’t too elaborate, the shaft support they provide that allows for the free rotation of moving parts, while reducing friction between the moving and stationary components, is essential.
“Being able to identify bearings is a worthwhile skill set for any industry member” Tim Zerger, Group Director of Bearings and Power Transmission at IBT, said. “If a customer comes in and knows what kind of bearing they already have, we can take its measurements and give you an exact part number.” One thing to keep in mind, though, according to Zerger, is that most bearings are measured in metric units – millimeters, not inches.
With the production efforts of countless industries and machines, comes countless bearing styles to accommodate them, each engineered specifically for the job required. There are many factors that influence the design of a bearing: load type, speed, temperature, shock or vibration, dirt or abrasive contamination, possible alignment inaccuracies, space limitations or shaft rigidity requirements. However, our first step in learning how to identify bearings is classifying them as either: Plain (Sleeve) Bearings or Rolling Bearings.
Plain (Sleeve) Bearings
Sleeve bearings, both mounted and unmounted, are the oldest style of bearings. They are found in automobiles, home appliances and all types of machinery that operate with lighter loads and at lower speeds. While they come in many sizes and shapes, each functions as a band of close fitting material that encloses and supports a moving member, or forms a “sleeve” around the shaft. The bearings generally maintain a thin film of lubricant between themselves and the shaft to reduce the friction that builds as a result of their interaction.
Rolling bearings, both mounted and unmounted, incorporate both ball and roller bearings, where the rotating members are separated from the stationary members by balls or rollers. This style of bearing is composed of one or two rows of steel balls or rollers between inner and outer rings and spaced out by a retainer. Grooves or raceways are cut into the inner and outer rings to guide the rolling element.
These are the most common, yet diverse, bearing family. Therefore, there are five primary categories to know when you identify bearings: radial ball, cylindrical roller, spherical roller, tapered roller and needle bearings.
RADIAL BALL BEARINGS
|Deep Groove, Conrad Bearing|
|The Filling Slot, Max Type Bearing|
|Angular Contact Thrust Ball Bearing|
|Self-Aligning Ball Bearings|
CYLINDRICAL ROLLER BEARINGS
SPHERICAL ROLLER BEARINGS
TAPERED ROLLER BEARINGS
YOUR BEARING SPECIALISTS
IBT Industrial Solutions was founded in 1949 with Industrial Bearings in mind. Since then, we have become a trusted source for industry knowledge and expertise when it comes to bearings. When you partner with IBT, you’re guaranteed access to the best service and brands in the business.
Looking for more information on how to identify bearings? Contact our team of experts!