Choosing the right bearing for your application can mean the difference between a functioning item and catastrophic failure. There are many different types with variations in how much load they can handle, how quickly they rotate and even in how much impact they can take.

Load and Rotation Speed

There are two types of bearing load which will affect everything from the rotation speed to how long the bearing lasts. Axial load means that the weight runs parallel to the rotation axis and radial load runs perpendicular to it. Bearings are designed to handle either axial or radial loads with some ability to manage a combined load of both. The higher the load, the slower the rotation speed for most bearings, so it is important to check both of these specifications before purchasing any stainless steel roller bearings needed for the project.

Sealing System and Bearing Life

The way that the bearing is sealed can have an impact on its life in the project you are working on. Some are open which allows for a visual inspection and easier lubrication, while others are completely sealed and will need to be replaced once the interior friction becomes a problem. In applications with a high concentration of dust and particulates, it is a good idea to go with a completely sealed and contained type. In projects where speed is more important, bearings easy to lubricate are a better choice.

Rigidity and Precision

The rigidity and precision required by your project will have an impact on the type of bearing that you choose. More rigid ones can break more easily in flex conditions but can sometimes handle a greater load or have more precision. Some bearings, such as insert and spherical types, will be able to better handle any misalignments, making it easier to replace worn out units in the field.

Vibration and Impact

It is important to remember that bearings will have to withstand various types of vibration and impact and to choose a type capable of sustaining those forces. Bearings are used in everything from skateboards to manufacturing equipment and will have specifications for what they can handle. For instance, skateboard bearings are designed to handle the impacts and vibrations generated by tricks or surface textures, the longer the bearing, the more likely it is to warp or bend from this use.

Choosing the right bearing type for your project will depend on a lot of factors, so matching specifications as closely as possible is the key to a long bearing life and functioning equipment. When you match the load type and precision of a bearing to your project, you can see better speeds and fewer broken parts.

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