Bearings are a small mechanical device that is used to give a piece of equipment rotational or linear movement with minimal friction or stress. They’re used in everything from skateboard wheels to computers’ hard drives.

And interestingly enough, there is evidence that suggests that bearings have a history that dates back as far as 900 B.C. They’ve been an incredibly useful tool, and now they’re main different bearing types available for various uses.

In this guide, we’ll run you through some of the most popular bearings.

The Different Bearing Types

If you’re not familiar with how bearings work, they can be tough to visualize. So if you don’t already know how they function, check out this video. Watch that, and then we’ll get started.

Conrad Bearings

Ball bearings, or Conrad bearings, is the most popular type of bearing, and it’s probably the first one that comes to anyone’s mind.

All bearings have a basic construction: an outer ring and an inner ring that houses metal rollers – greased with a lubricant – that roll along a track inside the rings, which allow for more frictionless movement.

In the case of Conrad bearings, the metal rollers inside the rings are – you guessed it – ball-shaped. These types of bearings are commonly used on small pieces of equipment like skateboard wheels.

Straight Roller Bearings

Because ball bearing rollers are spherical, the point of contact between them and the track they lie on is just a point, meaning that heavier loads are more acutely felt.

With straight roller bearings, the shape of the rollers between the rings is cylindrical, making the point of contact a straight line. This allows for heavier loads and a higher speed capacity. This is because the weight of the object is more displaced.

Tapered Roller Bearings

Tapered roller bearings are very similar to straight roller bearings except that the track the rollers are on is tilted to the left or the right at a slight angle to allow for a higher radial thrust and load capacity.

The more extreme the angle, the heavier the load it can support. These types of bearings are commonly found in car hubs because they can carry so much weight.

Spherical Roller Bearings

Spherical roller bearings are a hybrid of sorts. The shape of the rollers is barrel-like, so they have some elements of a straight roller and a ball roller.

The big difference here is that these bearings actually have two rows of rollers, which increases their load capacity. These bearing types are also commonly used in cars and trucks.

Thrust Bearings

Thrust bearings are similar to ball bearings except that instead of the rings of the bearing housing the rollers at the bottom and tops of the rollers, they are at their sides.

This allows for rotational horizontal movement, like on a spinning barstool, as opposed to vertical movement like a car’s spinning wheels.

Need Mechanical Repairs?

All of these bearing types can commonly be found in rotors and other pieces of mechanical equipment, both large and small. If you have a malfunctioning rotor in your factory or place of business, faulty bearings may be the culprit.

If you want a professional team to take a look at your issues, check out our rotor repair services.

Electrical Apparatus offers a number of custom services built to suit your repair needs