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Precision ball bearings reduce rotational friction and also support radial and axial loads with high accuracy and precision.
Precision ball bearings meet the requirements of high accuracy, high rotational speed, and high quality and are suitable for machines and applications where these requirements are needed.

What are precision ball bearings?

precision ball bearings
precision ball bearings

These are special type of ball bearings with high precision and accuracy. The design of precision bearings makes them suitable for various high precision, high accuracy, and high-speed applications in industries such as aerospace, robotics, health, and general industry.

Precision bearings are suitable for high-speed applications carried out by high-precision equipment, requiring tight tolerances and very fine finishes. We offer various types and designs of the best quality precision bearings to provide you with higher yields at lower costs.

Being built for accuracy and precision, precision bearings are suitable for applications that are demanding in terms of accuracy, precision, rotational speed, and rigidity. Examples of such applications include in rolling mills, racing cars, and marine vessels.

The following are some features and benefits of the precision bearings that make it very suitable for these types of applications.

– An optimum design

– Long life

-High accuracy

-Low noise

-High rotational speed

-Controlled rigidity

-Minimum friction and heat generation

Apart from precision ball bearings, other types of bearings can be employed for high precision and accuracy in applications. Some examples are roller bearings, such as the cylindrical roller bearings and the Axial-radial cylindrical roller bearings.

Construction of the Precision Ball Bearing

As with other types of ball bearings, precision ball bearings are used to provide reduced friction and smooth movement in rotational movements. The round nature of the balls allows for minimal contact with the inner and outer races of the bearing, which allow for smooth spinning. This design also makes the bearing and the machine itself to last longer and function more effectively.

However, too much load on the outer race can lead to flattening of the balls and an eventual failure of the bearing. Therefore, the amount of load on the precision bearing needs to be constantly monitored to make sure that it is consistent with the load rating of the bearing.

Being a ball bearing, the precision bearing comprises four parts, namely the rings (two), the ball (separator), and the retainer (ball separator). Precision bearings carry radial (angular and radial bearings) and axial (thrust bearings) loads. For the angular types, the outer race transfers the load from the bearing to a housing into which it is mounted.

The inner race guides and supports the shaft – into which it is also mounted – during rotation, while the balls or rolling elements distributes the load around the raceways as it rotates around the inner race and the separator acts to separate the balls from each other, preventing them from hitting each other.

For the thrust types, the two rings are of equal sizes with mounting holes and sometimes integral gears. The rolling element in these bearings can either be a ball, a roller, or a needle. These types of bearings are sometimes referred to as tabletop bearings, turntable bearings, or slewing rings.

Construction of the Precision ball bearing

Classification of Precision Ball Bearings

Being a dealer and major distributor of ball bearings, let us look at the various classifications of precision ball bearings that can be found in our stores. We also believe that you deserve the very best, which is why our products are in conformity with the best standards set by regulatory bodies such as ISO and the North American standards.

We also believe in versatility, which is why we seek to provide you with various choices and categorizations of products. The following are the various precision bearings we have in our stock to cater to your every need for many applications.

Angular Contact Ball bearings
These types of bearings are suitable for shafts ranging from size 6-360mm. They come in a wide variety of design for your selection, enabling them to be used with almost every application where precision is required. These precision bearings also include four ISO dimension series to serve for varying application requirements in various executions.
Double direction Angular Contact thrust ball bearings
These types of precision bearings are usually mounted in together with the NN 30 K or N 1 K series of the cylindrical roller bearings to allow for easy machining of the housing bore. The design of the precision bearing allows them to axially locate spindle shafts in both directions. Because of its use together with the cylindrical roller bearings, the bore size and outside diameter of both the double direction angular contact thrust ball bearing and the corresponding cylindrical roller bearing are the same. A radial clearance in the housing bore of these precision bearings is enough to prevent the action of radial loads on the thrust bearing, as long as the outer ring is not clamped axially on the housing. The double direction angular contact thrust ball bearing also comes in various designs and variants, which allows employment in various applications.
Angular contact thrust ball bearings for screw drives
Angular contact thrust ball bearings are used to provide a kind of support for both ends of screw drives in machine tools. This support is needed in order for these screw drives to position machine components more quickly, efficiently, and precisely. Although angular contact thrust bearings are most suitable for screw drive applications, they can also be used in other applications where strong axial and radial support is required with high precision axial guidance for the shaft. These precision bearings are also used to provide very high axial stiffness, accommodate high speeds, provide very high running accuracy, rapid accelerations, and high axial load carrying capacity. They also come in various sizes and designs for your selection. Other high precision tools that can be found in our stores include the precision lock nuts, gauges, cylindrical roller bearings, Axial-radial cylindrical roller bearings, etc.
Precision Ball Bearings

Materials Used for Precision Ball Bearings

precision bearings
precision bearings

Various materials that are used for precision bearings include plastic, ceramic balls and races, stainless steel, and various platings. Materials used in the construction of precision bearings should be through-hardened and should possess a minimum Rockwell rating of 58Rc.

While 440C stainless steel and SAE 52100 steel are the most commonly used materials for raceway and ball designs, they are not suitable for applications where the friction temperature can be as high as 350oF

Rather, other forms of alloy, such as the molybdenum steel, which can resist temperatures as high as 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, is used. Metal shields are usually of the same material as the raceways. However, other materials can be used.

Stamped steel is the most common retainer material, although other materials such as stamped, machined bronze and plastic can also be used because of their good temperature resistance in high-speed applications. Although plastic retainers can be limited by temperature, those made of materials such as phenolic materials (270⁰F), PTFE (450⁰F), and polyamide (500⁰F) can resist these high temperatures.

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Advantages of Precision Ball Bearings

There are various general advantages to using ball bearings in machines, all of which are also shared by with the use of precision bearings. Some of these include:

– Reducing friction between moving parts of machines

– Preventing wear and tear in machines

-Reducing noise in machines

-Prolonging the life span of machine parts, etc.

Besides these, there are also some added advantages peculiar to the use of precision bearings in various applications. Some of these include:

–          Ability to accommodate both axial and radial loads, as is seen in Angular contact ball bearings and other radial precision bearings

Because of the design of radial bearings, they can carry both radial loads and axial loads. This gives it a significant advantage as it cancels the need to have over one bearing performing both tasks, thus saving costs and maximizing profits.

–          These bearings are of importance in high-speed applications where they help in high-speed transmissions and the movement of machine parts over one another.

Various mechanical operations are carried out at top speeds. An example is the rotation of the shaft in a racing car, which is usually quick because of the speed of the car. A bearing that can withstand these top speeds and the resultant temperature rise resulting from the transmissions is needed. Precision bearings are usually employed in these situations, as they can meet the high-speed and temperature requirements of these engines. All these with a very high precision.

–          They are also employed in ultra-precision equipment requiring tight tolerances

Various equipment such as is found in the medical industry needs very high precision to carry out their operations and usually has little or no margin for error. The precision bearing is used for various high-precision applications. This is because of the sensitivity of the work being done in this industry. Precision bearings provide the solution to these precision needs and help ensure that operations are carried out with utmost precision and accuracy.

–          Various thrust precision bearings also facilitate smooth rotational movements under high thrust loads.

Thrust bearings carry just axial loads. These refer to loads that are parallel to the axis of rotation of the bearing. With thrust precision bearings, such as the double direction angular contact thrust bearing, they can handle these loads and the corresponding operations at top speeds and with high precision.

Summary

Whenever you think of high precision, high accuracy, high speed, high rigidity in mechanical applications, the name that should come to mind is precision bearings. These tools are designed specifically for these purposes.

However, when going for a precision bearing, the application for which it is to be used should be considered. There are various factors that determine the performance and general life span of the precision bearing. Wrong usage of these bearings can cause low efficiency of the bearings or reduced life span.

Some factors that will affect the lifespan and efficiency of the  precision bearings include:

–          Contact between the balls and the raceways: This has to be minimal with sufficient lubrication for the best results and a long lifespan.

–          Type of load: Ball bearings can handle more dynamic and radial loads than static and axial loads. This means that more axial and static loads on the bearing can lead to deformations, such as non-elastic deformation, usually shown by flattened spots on the ball. These deformations will hinder the rotation of the balls.

–          Operating speeds: According to industry standards, it is required that 90% of bearings should still be serviceable after 1 million rotations and 50% still serviceable after 5 million rotations. After these number of rotations, we can say the bearing to be fatigued and we term the number of rotations, fatigue life.

Can Precision bearings rust?

The answer is yes. However, this depends on the material used in making the bearings. Precision bearings made of steel are prone to rust, which is why they are usually coated with grease upon leaving the factory.

However, precision bearings made of stainless steel are much more resistant to corrosion. The degree of this resistant however, depends on the grade of stainless steel. The 440-grade stainless steel is much more resistant to moisture and weak chemicals, which is why they are used in making precision bearings employed in food and beverage companies.

The 316-grade stainless steel is more resistant than the 440 grade but also softer, hence can only be used for lower loads than the 440 grade can carry. Ceramic bearings have the best resistance to corrosion, as we can use them with sea water and many strong chemicals.

How do the precision bearings achieve its low noise feature?

Vibration often causes noise in bearings including precision bearings. Factors that can lead to these vibrations include inadequate lubrication, damaged balls or raceways, poor ball/raceway roundness, contamination in bearing, etc.

Therefore, in order to reduce the noise in precision bearings, these factors are being taken care of so that they do not come into play. For instance, the surface finishing on the balls and raceways and their roundness are very much closely controlled to reduce or eliminate vibrations and consequently reduce noise from the precision bearings.

Can I use thrust precision bearings with radial loads?

Thrust precision bearings are made to carry just axial loads and, should not be used for radial loads. However, the precision bearings are usually used together with a radial bearing to enable the support of radial loads.

Radial ball bearings are mainly used for radial loads even though they have some thrust load capacity, too. The angular contact bearings however, are much more suitable for the support of both axial and radial loads because they have a greater capacity to support thrust loads than the radial bearings.

Is there any temperature limit for precision bearings?

This usually depends on the material of the balls and rings, the retainer, seals, and the lubricants used. While precision bearings made of chrome steel can support loads with constant and intermittent temperature of 1200C and 1500C respectively, 440 grade stainless steel can do 2500C and 3000C, respectively.

The retainers are usually of the same material, so there’s no problem with these. However, retainers made of nylon or polyamide can limit the temperature to a maximum of 1000C–1200C. in addition, various lubricants have different temperature tolerance. We offer lubrication that can withstand temperature ranges of between -800C to 3000C.

When should I use precision bearings?

As the name states, they are used in applications that require high precision in their execution, such as is found in the medical industry and aerospace. You can also employ precision bearings in applications that require high speed, accuracy and rigidity.

Furthermore, precision bearings can be used in various applications to carry both thrust and radial loads. Although the use of the precision bearings depends on the design of the particular bearing and the application need. There are various designs and variants of these precision bearings to be used for different purposes.

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