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Rolling element bearings are heavily classified. The more you dig into the more varieties of bearings you will turn up with. Let us first know on what basis the rolling element bearings are classified into.
The primary criterion on which the rolling element bearings are classified is based on the type of “Rolling Element” in the bearings.
The secondary criterion on which the rolling element bearings are classified is based on the type of loads they can carry.
These two criterions will be going tandem to each other in the classification.
Let us now look into the classifications
Classification Based on the Rolling Elements
- The bearings which have “Balls” as their rolling elements are termed as “Ball Bearings”. Click here to see a picture of a ball bearing
- The bearings which have “Rollers” as their rolling elements are termed as “Roller Bearings”. We have another classification in Roller Bearings based on the type of roller used. Let us look into in later.
Other than these, one other classification exists in both Ball and Roller Bearings, which is based on the type of load the bearing is designed to carry. They are called as “Thrust Bearings”, aptly called so because of their capability to carry only axial loads.
Types of Roller Bearings
The roller bearings are classified basically based on the type of rollers that are used in the bearings. They are
- Cylindrical Rollers – These rollers are cylindrical in shape. Click here to see a cylindrical roller bearing
- Tapered Rollers – These rollers are tapered, diametrically bigger at one end and diametrically smaller at the other end. Click here to see a taper roller bearing.
- Spherical Rollers – The rollers are shaped like “barrels”, curved towards both the ends. Click here to see as spherical roller bearing.
- Needle Rollers – These rollers are also cylindrically shaped but the diameter to length ratio tends to be very less when compared to cylindrical rollers. There are called as needle rollers due to their nearest resemblance with that of a Needle. Click here to see a needle roller bearing.
This article just covers a part of the complete classification of the Rolling element Bearings. We will look into the detailed classification in the forthcoming articles where I will be dealing with all the rolling bearing types available.
The forthcoming article will deal with the selection of the rolling element bearings and the important terminologies in rolling element bearing selection.