Common Uses for Bearings in Different Industries
Bearings were first used industrially in 1791, by carriage maker and inventor Phillip Vaughn. The bearings were used to eliminate direct contact between the drive shaft and the axle in the carriage. From here bearings became specific to the industry that used them and the applications that needed bearings.
Ball bearings, have rolling elements and generally spherical balls. In some applications like aerospace technology, bearings are used in commercial aircrafts. These bearings are dependent upon the location of the bearing, lubrication type, traceability, material, and surface coatings. For example, jet engine bearings are made from materials like press steel. This is due to the high temperatures that can reach as low as -67° F and over 400°F. Turbines car move at speeds over 10,000 rpms which require bearings to have high resistant to heats and velocities.
Thrust bearings can come in two different types and can be used for drills in deep sea oil rigs. One type of bearing is a taper roller. This bearing has cylindrical rollers that are arranged flat next to each other. They have their axes pointing to the axis of the bearing. They usually burn out quicker than other bearings because of the high frequency of rotations. Another type of thrust bearing that is used in drilling and wind turbines is tapered roller. These have bearings that are large at one end and smaller at the other. They rotate in usually move in an axial direction. They are more expensive that ball bearings because of the larger contact area.
Lubricating bearings can come in all different shapes and sizes. The lubrication of these bearings is critical to the life of bearings. Some machines that use lubricated bearings are food and beverage machines, packaging machines , and large equipment. The lubrication can be oil or grease. Lubricated bearings require extra attention due to potential contaminates, and high heat applications.