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Notes on Ball Bearings

Bearing Nomenclature
You can learn a lot about a bearing just from its part number.
A typical bearing is the 6203ZZ bearing. This part number can be divided into its components!
6203ZZ
"hich means!
Type #ode
$eries
%ore
$uffi&
The type code indicates the type of bearing. 'hile each manufacturer uses their o"n numbers( there are a fe"
numbers that could be considered standard in the industry.
)
Self-Aligning Ball Bearing
This *ind of ball bearing has a
spherical outer race( allo"ing the a&is
of the bearing to +"ander around+. This
is important because misalignment is
one of the big causes of bearing failure.
2 Spherical Roller Bearing
3
Double-Row Angular ontact Ball
Bearing
,esigned to ta*e a&ial as "ell as radial
loads.
-
Double-Row Ball Bearing
,esigned for heavy radial loads.
.
!hrust Ball Bearing
/ntended for e&clusively a&ial loads.
6
Single-Row Deep "roo#e Ball
Bearing
Typical ball bearing. 0andles light
a&ial loads as "ell as radial loads.
1
Single-Row Angular ontact Bearing
2or a&ial 3one direction only45 as "ell
as radial loads.
6
$elt Seal
To assure that the entire inside edge of
the seal touches the inner ring( the
inner ring is enlarged. /f a bearing of
more normal proportions is re7uired(
the outer ring is also enlarged( and the
bearing is referred to as a +"ide cup+
bearing.
32
!apere% Roller Bearing
This is the *ind of "heel bearings used
in cars. The rollers are not cylindrical(
but conical. They handle large raidal
and a&ial loads.
8 &nch 'Non-(etric) Bearing 9aries
:
*lin%rical Roller Bearing
/nstead of balls( cylindrical rollers are
used. These bearings can handle much
more radial load( but can handle much
less a&ial load( than ball bearings.
::
Double-Row Roller Bearing
0andles greater radial loads than
standard cylindrical roller bearings.
:A
Nee%le Roller Bearing
:eedle bearings are basically roller
bearings( but the rollers are much
smaller( ma*ing the bearing more
compact.
9aries
Type 6( +single;ro" deep groove+( is perhaps the most common type of bearing.
/f the bearing is an inch bearing 3the first digit in the number is an 85( then the si<e is the digit or digits
immediately follo"ing the 8( in )6ths of an inch. An 86;28$ bearing( for e&ample( has an 6=)6th or )=2 inch
bore.
/f the first digit is a number( ho"ever( it is a metric bearing( and the second digit is the series( "hich reflects
the robustness of the bearing. The series are( from lightest to heaviest!
6 >&tra thin section
? 9ery thin section
0 >&tra light
) >&tra light thrust
2 @ight
3 Aedium
- 0eavy
Yes( they go in that order. Botta *eep things simple( you *no".
>ach of these series also establishes a relationship bet"een the bore si<e( outer diameter( and thic*ness of the
bearing( in accordance "ith /$C standards. / have no idea "hat they are.
The third and fourth digits indicate the bore size in millimeters. >&cept for 0 through 3( the bore si<e is simply
five times the third and fourth digits together. 0 through 3( ho"ever( are different!
00 )0mm
0) )2mm
02 ).mm
03 )1mm
/f there is no fourth digit ; for e&ample( a 606 bearing( a common roller s*ate bearing ; then the si<e is the last
digit in millimeters.
The last letters indicate something special about the bearing. 2or e&ample!
Z $ingle shielded
ZZ ,ouble shielded
8$ $ingle sealed
28$ ,ouble sealed
9 $ingle non;contact seal
99 ,ouble non;contact seal
,,D ,ouble contact seals
:8 $nap ring and groove
A %rass cage
And then there are the completely off;the;"all bearing numbers( li*e -??.020. / have no idea "hat that
number is supposed to mean( but it applies to "hat is basically an 8)0;28$ bearing( only a bit thic*er and
"ith a groove and snap ring.
+,amples
ommon S-ate Bearings
Number
Bore
'mm)
./D/
'mm)
0i%th
'mm)
606 6 22 1
621 1 22 1
666 6 )6 -
6?6 6 )? 6
All these bearing numbers start "ith 6( "hich tells us theyre Single-row deep groove ball bearings. The
second digits tell us the robustness of the bearings. The last t"o( in series 6 and ?( are very thin and
light"eight bearings( "hile the first( in series 0( is an +e&tra light+ bearing "ithout being abnormally thin. The
third bearing( in series 2( is the most robust of all( being merely +light+.
1ight #s 2ea#* omparison
#onsider the follo"ing three bearings!
Number
Bore
mm
./D/
mm
!hic-ness
mm
60)0;28$ .0 60 )6
62)0;28$ .0 ?0 20
63)0;28$ .0 ))0 21
'e can see from the part numbers that theyre all .0mm single;ro" deep groove ball bearings. 0o"ever( "e
can also see that theyre each a different seriesE specifically( >&tra @ight( @ight( and Aedium. #ompare the
C.,. and thic*ness of each bearing( and you can see ho" the >&tra @ight bearing 3series 05 is the smallest( and
the Aedium %earing 3series 35 is the largest. The larger bearing can ta*e much more load than the smaller
bearing( though ho" much depends on the manufacturer and the 8FA the bearing is run at.
Number
Bore
mm
./D/
mm
!hic-ness
mm
6?0-;28$ 20 31 ?
600-;28$ 20 -2 )2
620-;28$ 20 -1 )-
630-;28$ 20 .2 ).
These are all 20mm single;ro" deep groove ball bearings of different series. The first( of series ?( is a +very
thin section+ bearing( meaning it is much thinner than usual ; it is only 2.G as thic* as its C.,.( "hile the
others are appro&imately 30G as thic* as their C.,.
ommon Bearing Dimensions
+,tra 1ight Bearings
Number
Bore
mm
./D/
mm
!hic-ness
mm
6000;28$ )0 26 6
600);28$ )2 26 6
6002;28$ ). 32 ?
6003;28$ )1 3. )0
600-;28$ 20 -2 )2
600.;28$ 2. -1 )2
6006;28$ 30 .. )3
6001;28$ 3. 62 )-
6006;28$ -0 66 ).
600?;28$ -. 1. )6
60)0;28$ .0 60 )6
60));28$ .. ?0 )6
60)2;28$ 60 ?. )6
60)3;28$ 6. )00 )6
60)-;28$ 10 ))0 20
60).;28$ 1. )). 20
1ight Bearings
Number
Bore
mm
./D/
mm
!hic-ness
mm
6200;28$ )0 30 ?
620);28$ )2 32 )0
6202;28$ ). 3. ))
6203;28$ )1 -0 )2
620-;28$ 20 -1 )-
620.;28$ 2. .2 ).
6206;28$ 30 62 )6
6201;28$ 3. 12 )1
6206;28$ -0 60 )6
620?;28$ -. 6. )?
62)0;28$ .0 ?0 20
62));28$ .. )00 2)
62)2;28$ 60 ))0 22
62)3;28$ 6. )20 23
62)-;28$ 10 )2. 2-
62).;28$ 1. )30 2.
62)6;28$ 60 )-0 26
(e%ium Bearings
Number
Bore
mm
./D/
mm
!hic-ness
mm
630);28$ )2 31 )2
6302;28$ ). -2 )3
6303;28$ )1 -1 )-
630-;28$ 20 .2 ).
630.;28$ 2. 62 )1
6306;28$ 30 12 )?
6301;28$ 3. 60 2)
6306;28$ -0 ?0 23
630?;28$ -. )00 2.
63)0;28$ .0 ))0 21
&nch Bearings
Number
Bore
inch
./D/
inch
!hic-ness
inch
$83;28$ 0.)61. 0..000 0.)?60
8-;28$ 0.2.00 0.62.0 0.)?60
8-A;28$ 0.2.00 0.1.00 0.26)3
86;28$ 0.31.0 0.61.0 0.26)3
86;28$ 0..000 ).)2.0 0.3)2.
8)0;28$ 0.62.0 ).31.0 0.3-36
8)2;28$ 0.1.00 ).62.0 0.-31.
8)-;28$ 0.61.0 ).61.0 0..000
8)6;28$ ).0000 2.0000 0..000
820;28$ ).2.00 2.2.00 0..000
)60);28$ 0.)61. 0.661. 0.3)2.
)602;28$ 0.2.00 0.661. 0.3)2.
)60.;28$ 0.3)2. 0.?063 0.3)2.
)603;28$ 0.3)2. 0.61.0 0.3-36
)60-;28$ 0.31.0 0.61.0 0.3-36
)6)-;28$ 0.31.0 ).)2.0 0.31.0
)606;28$ 0.31.0 0.?063 0.3)2.
)6).;28$ 0.-31. ).)2.0 0.31.0
)601;28$ 0.-31. 0.?063 0.3)2.
)620;28$ 0.-31. ).31.0 0.-31.
)6)6;28$ 0..000 ).)2.0 0.31.0
)62);28$ 0..000 ).31.0 0.-31.
)633;28$ 0.62.0 ).1.00 0..000
)623;28$ 0.62.0 ).31.0 0.-31.
)636;28$ 0.1.00 2.0000 0..62.
)630;28$ 0.1.00 ).62.0 0..000
)6-);28$ ).0000 2.0000 0..62.
)6.2;28$ ).)2.0 2..000 0.62.0
)6.6;28$ ).3)2. 2..62. 0.661.
.ther Stuff
>ver "onder ho" they assemble ball bearingsH There are t"o "ays.
The typical ball bearing( called a #onrad bearing. There is enough space bet"een the balls that if theyre all
pushed over to one side( the inner ring can be pushed to the opposite side( into the space left by moving the
balls. This increases the space on the side "here the balls are( letting them be removed. The bearing cage
usually *eeps the balls evenly spaced so this doesnt happen by accident.
Conrad Type Bearing Assembly
The other *ind of ball bearing is called a ma&imum capacity bearing( and has a special notch cut in the side of
the rings( into "hich the balls are placed during assembly. As a result of this notch( the a&ial loads this *ind of
bearing can ta*e are 7uite small( and must be in combination "ith a large radial load. 0o"ever( the increased
number of balls that can be fit into the bearing means the ma&imum capacity type bearing can handle a larger
radial load.
Maximum Capacity Bearing
Design 1ife
The design life of a bearing depends on rate% loa% and the e3ui#alent ra%ial loa%.
Deep "roo#e4 1
50
6 '78)
n

The rate% loa%9 ( is the load at "hich )0G of bearings fail after one million revolutions. The manufacturer
"ill provide this number. Cne million revolutions may sound li*e a lot( but its not. A car engine typically has
one million revolutions on it after only eight hours.
The e3ui#alent loa%9 8( is a combination of a&ial load and radial load( times some factor to account for shoc*
loading( acceptable noise levels( lubrication 7uality( cleanliness( speed( temperature( etc. #alculating it can be
a pain.
The e&ponent( n( is 3 for radial bearings( and 3.33 for thrust bearings. This large an e&ponent means that
doubling the load on a bearing "ill decrease its life by a factor of eight or ten( depending on the type of
bearing. ,ont overload your bearings4
The formula for calculating e7uivalent load is
8 6 ':$
r
; <$
a
) = s
"here 2
r
is actual ra%ial loa%( 2
a
is actual a,ial loa%( I is the static ra%ial factor( and Y is the static a,ial
factor( and s is the ser#ice factor( "hich varies from ) on up. /f 2
a
is <ero 3no a&ial load5 you can ignore all
this folderol( and F J 2
r
. @i*e"ise( if 2
r
is <ero 3no radial load5( then F J 2
a
.
#alculating I and Y is so complicated that / avoid it "hen / can ; by using separate thrust and radial bearings(
by assuming I is ) and Y is 3 3values "hich far e&ceed anything realistic5( or by using soft"are. $K2 has an
online bearing calculator here.
/f you really "ant to try calculating I and Y( start here.
Sources
These are some places that sell bearings and give satisfactory service for a good price( at least in my
e&perience.
$*atebearings.com ( a 2lorida company( also sells on e%ay under the username
s*atebearingsLaol.com.
AcAaster;#arr ( they sell everything( so naturally they sell bearings( too.
References
>;mail me at billLgi<mology.net if you find a mista*e4
,ynaroll Technical /nfo .
%asic %earing /nfo from Aotion %earings.
The %earing 8eference #enter by Aachine ,esign.
$K2 Cnline %earing #alculator
2ormulation of %earing :umbers from :$K Automotive( Australia.
%earing A%#s from :$K Automotive( Australia.
%ac*
M 2003 '. >. Nohns