Ball Bearings

A ball bearing is a rolling bearing used within the power transmission industry which features metal balls between a rotating or oscillating shaft and outer ring. With applications in everything from bicycle wheels to aerospace engineering, ball bearings are designed to reduce rotational friction while supporting radial loads. Incorporating a rolling element that guarantees a low coefficient of friction. Ball bearings ensure smooth and uninterrupted rotation of, for example, an axle or motor shaft.

The only way for a ball bearing to operate efficiently or at high speeds is with the right lubrication which can work at high temperatures. The correct oil or grease lubricant has to be used with each bearing depending on its nominal lifespan and load. For further information about ball bearings and how to decipher the codes on them, see our ball bearings guide.

Ball bearings that spin at high speeds require lubricant and a clean environment. Having the ball bearings shielded offers better protection against dirt and grease, therefore, the ball bearings have a longer lifespan. Sealed ball bearing offer reliability as they reduce the risk of dust and dirt entering the ball bearing mechanism. They also help to preserve the lubricant within the bearing and keep it running smoother, for longer.

Types of Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are used in machines to lessen and transform sliding friction to rolling friction and support radial and axial loads. Ball bearings are available in open and sealed versions, depending on the environmental requirements. They are also available in a range of diameters, supplied in metric sizes. Types include:

  • Deep-groove ball bearings for when higher load capacity is required. Deep Groove refers to the race (the groove where the balls rest). There is therefore a larger space between the inner and outer rings, than the diameter of the ball. This leaves space for the rubber seals.
  • Angular Contact ball bearings
  • Single-row ball bearings are the most common
  • Linear ball bearings
  • Miniature ball bearings
  • Radial deep groove ball bearing
  • Self-aligning ball bearings used with long shafts
  • Thrust ball bearings
  • Ceramic bearings resistant to corrosion and very little lubrication
  • Shielded bearings
  • Double row bearings have two rows
  • Caged bearings secure the balls

Ball bearings are used in objects with moving parts and have many applications. These include quite specific uses such as in computer fans, watches, gearboxes and children's toys as well as:

  • Food and Beverage Industry
  • Pharmaceutica
  • Medical industry
  • Engines and Pumps
  • Motorsports
  • Printing

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RS Stock No. 190-8379
Mfr. Part No.3208-BD-XL-2Z-TVH