Will ball bearings reduce friction?
Yes, ball bearings are specifically designed to reduce friction. These bearings contain balls which have less surface contact and produce less friction than a flat surface would. The inner ring and outer ring have rolling friction instead of sliding friction. Therefore ball bearings are able to spin smoothly. Due to the point contact of the balls to the raceway, these bearings can take relatively low loads, but at higher speeds than roller bearings. Conversely, roller bearings take higher loads but at slower speeds.
Where are ball bearings used?
Ball bearings are commonly used in machinery but are also widely used across many industries. You can find roller bearings in household appliances through to automotive and aerospace applications.
When to replace ball bearings?
It is important to follow the lifespan advised by the manufacturer of your chosen ball bearing. It is also important to identify when a ball bearing needs replacing. For example, changes in noises such as humming or clicking. There are also visible signs such as vibrations or misalignment. Condition monitoring can greatly reduce the chance of consequential damage from failed bearings.
What are ball bearings made of?
Ball bearings are most commonly made from carbon steel, however, when anti-corrosion properties are required they can be made from 304 stainless steel. This is due to its durability and corrosion resistance. However, there are plastic ball bearings and ceramic hybrid bearings available too.
How do plastic ball bearings work?
Budget-friendly plastic ball bearings don’t require any external lubrication and are corrosion-resistant, given the use of glass or plastic balls. These relatively lightweight bearings are suitable for use in particularly harsh environments and are a common choice for workers within the medical and food industries. Other common materials for ball bearings include steel and stainless steel.