Ball Bearing

A ball bearing is a type of rolling-element bearing that uses balls to maintain the separation between the moving parts of the bearings – the inner and outer parts of the bearings. A ball bearing aims to reduce rotational friction and support radial and axial loads. Ball bearings are simple in design, durable, and easy to maintain.

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About Ball Bearings

Ball Bearings are a type of rolling-element bearing that uses balls to maintain the separation between the moving parts of the bearing. The purpose of deep groove precision ball bearings is to reduce rotational friction and support radial and axial loads.
Radial Ball bearings can support moderate radial and axial loads (parallel to the shaft).Ball bearings with shields or seals for protection can be lubricated to last for the working life. Sometimes ball bearings are also called “deep groove ball bearings.” Sunfield Bearings is the leading ball bearing supplier.

Components of a ball bearing

Ball bearings are composed of four main parts: two rings (or races), the rolling elements (the balls), and the ball separator (retainer).

Ball bearing material

Unique materials and plating options to consider for ball bearings include stainless steel, plastic, ceramic balls, ceramic braces, and platings. Ball bearings are largely through-hardened materials with a minimum Rockwell rating of 58 Rc. 440C stainless steel and SAE 52100 steel are the most common raceway and ball designs materials.

Application of Ball Bearings

Special applications for bearings include airframe or aircraft control, aerospace, agriculture, automotive, ball screw support, instrument or miniature, medical or dental, military, pump, spindle or super precision, and sporting and consumer goods.

Various Types of Ball Bearing

Deep Groove Ball Bearings

Deep groove ball bearings are the most widely used bearing type and are exceptionally versatile. They have low friction and are optimized for low noise and low vibration, enabling high rotational speeds. They accommodate radial and axial loads in both directions, are easy to mount and require less maintenance than other bearing types.

Single-Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Single row angular contact ball bearings can only accommodate axial loads in one direction. Their bearing rings have an upper and a lower shoulder and are non-separable. This type of bearing is typically adjusted against a second bearing.

Double-Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Double row angular contact ball bearings are units with solid inner and outer rings and ball and cage assemblies with polyamide or sheet steel cages. Their construction is similar to a pair of single row angular contact ball bearings in an O arrangement, but they are narrower to a certain extent.

Thrust Ball Bearings

Thrust ball bearings are classified into those with flat seats or aligning seats depending on the shape of the outer ring seat (housing washer). They can sustain axial loads but no radial loads. For Single-Direction Thrust Ball Bearings, pressed steel cages and machined brass cages have usually used. The cages in Double-Direction Thrust Ball Bearings are the same as those in Single-Direction Thrust Ball Bearings of the same diameter series.

Miniature Ball Bearings

Miniature/instrumentation ball bearings range from 1 mm/0.0400 inch inside diameter to 26 mm/0.8750 inches outside diameter. These are designed to provide reliable, high performance within small envelope dimensions for moderate radial and thrust loads at low operating torque. These bearings are offered in either chrome or stainless steel in various ABEC classes. Both metric and inch styles are available.

Self-Aligning Ball Bearings

Self-aligning ball bearings are better suited to higher speeds for their point contact than barrel roller bearings with line contact. In the self-aligning ball bearing, two rows of rolling elements are supported in two raceway grooves in the inner ring. The raceway on the outer ring has a curved form. The cage combines the two rows of balls and the inner circle to form a unit that can align itself by swiveling relative to the outer ring.


Applications: Mowers Rakes

Applications: Grain Elevators

Heavy Duty Truck

Applications: Axels

Applications: Differentials


Applications: Airplanes

Applications: Aerospace Engines

Wind Energy

Applications: Gearbox

Applications: Swing Pinions

The advantages of various types of bearings

Ball Bearing Video

About Bearing FAQ

(1) What’s the difference between ball bearing and roller bearing ?

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings typically include an inner raceway and an outer raceway, a number of spherical elements separated by brackets, and usually a guard and/or seal to prevent dirt and grease from entering. When installed, the inner ring is usually pressed lightly on the shaft, while the outer ring is fixed inside the housing. The design can be used to handle pure radial loads, pure axial (thrust) loads, and combined radial and axial loads.Ball bearings are described as having point contact; that is, each ball contacts the race in a very small patch – a point, in theory. Bearings are designed such that the slight deformation the ball makes as it rolls into and out of the load zone does not exceed the yield point of the material; the unloaded ball springs back to its original shape. Ball bearings do not have infinite lives. Eventually, they fail from fatigue, spalling, or any number of other causes. They are designed on a statistical basis with a useful life where a certain number are expected to fail after a set number of revolutions.

Roller Bearings

Similarly constructed as ball bearings, roller bearings have line contact rather than point contact, enabling them greater capacity and higher shock resistance. The rollers themselves come in several shapes, namely, cylindrical, spherical, tapered, and needle. Cylindrical roller bearings manage only limited thrust loads. Spherical roller bearings can accommodate misalignment and more thrust, and, when doubled up, thrust in either direction. Tapered roller bearings can manage significant thrust loads. Needle bearings, a variant of cylindrical roller bearings, can handle high radial loads for their size, and can be made as needle roller thrust bearings.

(2) Three Ways of Roller Bearing Cage Guide?

Cage (namely bearing cage, also known as bearing retainer), refers to the part of the bearing that partially wraps all or part of the rolling body, and moves with it, to isolate the rolling body, and usually guide the rolling body and keep it in the bearing.When rolling bearings are working, bearing heating and wear are caused by sliding friction. Especially under high temperature operation conditions, the effect of inertial centrifugal force intensifies friction, wear and heating, which will cause cage burns or fractures in serious cases, causing the bearing to fail to work normally.Therefore, in addition to a certain strength, the material required for the cage must also have good thermal conductivity, small friction coefficient, good wear resistance, strong impact toughness, small density and linear expansion coefficient close to the rolling body.
There are three general guiding modes of bearing cage: rolling body guiding, inner ring guiding and outer ring guiding.

(3) What is the difference between angular contact bearings and deep groove ball bearings?

Deep groove ball bearings are a non-separable type bearing with the line connecting contact points of the inner ring, steel ball, and outer ring of 0º in the radial direction. They are designed to take mainly radial loads but can handle some axial load in either direction. Angular contact bearings are also a non-separable type. The line connecting contact points of the inner ring, steel ball, and outer ring creates an angle with the line drawn in the radial direction called the contact angle. Angular contact bearings can accommodate relatively heavy axial loads in one direction in addition to radial loads. The larger the contact angle, the larger the axial loading capacity becomes.

(4) What does a ball bearing do?

A ball bearing is a type of rolling-element bearing that serves three main functions while it facilitates motion: it carries loads, reduces friction and positions moving machine parts. Ball bearings use balls to separate two “races,” or bearing rings, to reduce surface contact and friction across moving planes.

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