. Selecting the Right Bearing

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Selecting the Right Bearing

The importance of bearings cannot be ignored when it comes to ensuring proper functioning and operation of various machines and mechanical devices. Bearings contribute and facilitate the conduction of various mechanical processes and ensure smooth repeated mechanical motions in several machine units.

However, despite their similar functions in all machines, we must give due consideration to the fact there are different kinds of bearings available and we may select one that is most suitable for the concerned mechanical application. For instance, a bearing may be more effective for spinning a stool, while another type of bearing may be more useful for turning a car wheel. Different kinds of bearing serve different specialised functions and a bearing may be selected according to the application it is needed for.

There are various factors you may consider before you select a bearing. For instance, apart from the application the bearing is needed for, you may also give due consideration to the size of the bearing, as well as, the external environment in which the bearing is to be used. Similarly, during the selection of a suitable bearing for your mechanical device, you may also think about the external and internal forces that a bearing would be subjected to, and the intensity of those forces.

In most cases, bearings are usually subjected to three main forces namely, the axial force, the radial forces and a combination of the axial and radial force. Consider what forces are to dominate the working of your bearing, within a particular mechanical device, and then wisely select a bearing that is designed to show maximum tolerance to that force.

As mentioned earlier, application of the bearing is one of the primary factors that are to be considered when selecting a bearing for a particular machine. Bearings are basically differentiated on the basis of their ability to withstand the force of weight and load direction. Before selecting a bearing, consider the amount of load that the bearing is to be subjected to, to select a bearing that can adequately tolerate that pressure for an extensive time period.

Mostly people prefer to opt for ball bearings as these are designed to withstand both radial and axial forces. Furthermore, these are also specifically designed to work at high speeds, and hence, are often considered more efficient and productive. However, these ball bearings which are highly suitable to work under radial and axial forces, fail to function properly when subjected to heavy loads and excessive weights. Often ball bearings start showing signs of deformity and under perform in such cases.

A bearing’s ability to support a specified amount of load may also be judged through the size of the bearing. The size of the bearing and its ability to support load share a positive direct relation. Therefore, the bigger the bearing more will be its ability to support load. This is the reason why roller and cylindrical bearings, that have more surface area than ball bearings, are able to support more load and weight.      

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