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Nizwa College of Technology

Bearings are machine elements which are
used to support a rotating member called
as shaft.
They transmit the load from a rotating
member to a stationary member known as
frame or housing.

Bearing Motions
Common motions permitted by bearings are:

Axial rotation e.g. shaft rotation

Linear motion e.g. Carriage over the
bed, drawer in the table
spherical rotation e.g. ball and socket
Hinge motion e.g. door

Bearing Loads

Radial Load
Combination of both.

Radial load

Thrust load

Radial &Thrust load

Bearing Loads-Radial load

The bearings that support the

shafts of motors and pulleys are
subject to a radial load.

Bearing Loads-Thrust load

The bearings in this stool

are subject to a thrust load

Bearing Loads-Combination of Radial

&Thrust load

The bearings in a car wheel are subject

to both thrust and radial loads.

Bearing Classification
On the basis of contact they have between
the rotating and the stationary member

Plain bearings
(Sliding contact)

Rolling bearings
(Rolling contact)

Plain bearings-Sleeve Bearing

Advantages :


It takes up less space.

It has a rigid construction
It will carry loads more effectively
It is suitable for larger diameter shafts
It is cheap to manufacture and cost less.
They operate more silently.
They have good shock load capacity.

It has higher frictional resistance

It is more difficult to lubricate
There are limited choice of designs

Sliding contact- Sleeve Bearing

Solid Sleeve
Suitable to
radial load

Slit Sleeve

Split Sleeve

Adjustable to

Suitable for
large diameters

Rolling Bearings
The concept behind a ball bearing is very simple:

Things roll better than they slide

Two surfaces can roll over each other, the
friction is greatly reduced.
Bearings reduce friction by providing
smooth metal balls or rollers, and a
smooth inner and outer metal surface for
the balls to roll against.
These balls or rollers "bear" the load,
allowing the device to spin smoothly.

Rolling Bearings
The rolling bearings have a lower frictional
resistance than plain bearings
The Lubrication of rolling bearings is easier
because they can be "grease packed'
A greater choice of roller bearing designs are
available than for plain bearings
It takes up more space than plain bearings
The rolling bearings are not as rigid as plain
More nosier in operation than plain bearings

Types of rolling Bearings

Ball bearings,
Roller bearings,
Tapered roller bearings.
Ball thrust bearings,
Roller thrust bearings and

Ball bearings

Cutaway view of a ball bearing

Ball bearings

In a ball bearing, the load is transmitted from the

outer race to the ball and from the ball to the
inner race
Since the ball is a sphere, it only contacts the
inner and outer race at a very small point,
which helps it spin very smoothly
But it also means that there is not very much
contact area holding that load, so if the bearing
is overloaded, the balls can deform and spoil the
Less expensive and suitable for lighter loads and

Rolling Element Bearing Parts

Outer Race
Inner Race


Cage or Separator

Roller bearing

Common roller bearings use cylinders of slightly greater length

than diameter.
Roller bearings typically have higher radial load capacity than
ball bearings, but a low axial capacity and higher friction under
axial loads.
If the inner and outer races are misaligned, the bearing capacity
often drops quickly compared to either a ball bearing

Roller bearing
They can carry greater radial loads
The geometric shape of the rolling
element can be varied
They are having greater area of contact
with the race ways
Not suitable to take much thrust load

Taper Roller Bearings

Tapered roller bearings use conical rollers that run on conical races.
Tapered roller bearings support both radial and axial loads, and
can carry higher loads than ball bearings due to greater contact area.
Taper roller bearings are extensively used in Machine spindles and
gear boxes using helical gears
The disadvantage of this bearing is that due to manufacturing
complexities, tapered roller bearings are usually more expensive than
ball bearings

Needle Bearing

A variation of the roller type of bearing is called a needle bearing, uses

cylinders with a very small diameter.
This allows the bearing to fit into tight places.
Smaller diameter rollers (Needles) enable larger area of contact and greater
load carrying capacity.
Less space is occupied
More area of contact resulted in more frictional resistance to motion.

Ball Thrust Bearing

Ball thrust bearings like the one shown are mostly used for
low-speed applications and cannot handle much
radial load.
Lead screws and feed rods use this type of bearing at its

Roller Thrust Bearing

Roller thrust bearings like the one illustrated can support large
thrust loads.
They are often found in gear sets like machine transmissions
between gears, and between the housing and the rotating shafts.
The helical gears used in most transmissions have angled teeth
and this causes a thrust load that must be supported by this type of