The Different Types of Bearings and Their Uses

No matter what your daily routine is, you come into contact with a device that uses bearings on a consistent basis. Everything from the car you drive to the Lazy Susan in your cabinet has bearings that help it operate. Bearings are so integral to so many things, that back in World War II, the Allies made it their mission to attack the German’s bearing factories to severely diminish their aircraft industry. With how important bearings are, there have been many different types designed to handle specific jobs and loads, which we’ll be detailing today. If you are looking for bearings that you can rely on, call us at HCH Bearing Americas. We offer a wide variety of sizes and closures for ball bearings to suit your needs.

-Types of Loads

Bearings come in two main types: thrust bearings (which maintain a round object’s rotation and position while thrust is applied, like in a Lazy Susan), and radial load bearings (keep a spinning object in position in the radial direction, like in a skateboard wheel). There is also a third type of bearing, tapered roller bearings, which can withstand force from either direction.

Most people think of ball bearings when bearings are mentioned. Ball bearings are typically radial load bearings, though they can be utilized as thrust bearings if the need arises. Roller bearings are much more commonly used as thrust bearings, though they are also used in radial loading applications.

-Types of Bearings

  • Radial Ball Bearing

    – When you think of a bearing, this is often what you are imagining. They can be identified by two concentric metal circles that are separated by small metal balls. These basic bearings are used in everything from skateboards to power drills.

  • Pillow Block Bearing

    – Radial load bearings are encased in a housing which can be connected to a surface parallel to the axis of rotation.

  • Cam Follower Bearing

    – Radial load bearing with an attached threaded rod. Typically used to ride on a cam, causing linear motion. These bearings could have other applications beyond the original intention.

  • Ball Bushing (Linear) Bearing

    – This type of bearing is most often used to facilitate the smooth motion of 3D Printers and CNC router heads. Unlike other bearings, their purpose is intended to restrict radial motion and allow smooth linear motion.

  • Automotive Wheel Bearing

    – These are generally tapered roller bearings, which allow for both radial and axial loads to be handled.

  • Thrust Bearings

    – These are very versatile and have been utilized in everything from automotive applications to bar stools. They are also used in other devices that need to rotate smoothly, such as camera panning devices.

With so many different types of bearings out there, it can feel overwhelming trying to determine what you need for the job. If you are looking for advice or a bearing supplier you can depend on, please call us at HCH Bearing Americas today. We will be more than happy to walk you through your options to find exactly what you need. We hope to hear from you soon.