Types of Bearings and Properties Describing Them

Types of Bearings


There are a variety of bearings used in numerous industry applications. Six of the most common bearings are listed below, with an explanation of their attributes.


Ball Bearings

  • Most common
  • Ceramic spheres, small metallic
  • Also called anti friction bearings
  • Used to reduce friction between shafts and axles
  • Handle thrust and radial loads
  • Used for small loads
  • Used in individual cages
  • Used to reduce friction in axle assemblies
  • Absorbs weight


Roller Bearings

  •  Uses cylinders instead of spheres
  • Found a wide variety of bearings
  • Handle greater loads than ball bearings
  • Used in conveyer belts rollers
  • Not designed to handle thrust load



Needle Roller Bearings

  • Have slender cylindrical rollers
  • Handle highest load capacity
  • Ideal for high radial carrying
  • Large surface area
  • More compact
  • Less difference between the diameter of shaft and bearing


Tapered Roller Bearings

  •  Use conical rollers, run conical races
  • Made cylindrical and tapered
  • Support both radial and axial loads
  • Larger contact patch
  • More Expensive
  • Reduces rolling friction and avoid wear


Spherical Roller Bearings

  • Thick in the middle and narrow at the end
  • Production is complex
  • Expensive
  • Higher friction than ball bearings
  • Rotational motion changes alignment of axis
  • Adjust to support misaligned load



Thrust Bearings

  • Different varieties
  • Used in low thrust applications
  • Used to support axial loads like vertical shafts