There are several different types of linear bearings, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. This guide will help you learn about the different types of linear bearing, so you can find the one that’s right for your application. Additionally, this guide also covers the advantages of using each type of listed linear bearing. But before getting into the list, let’s first discuss what linear bearings are and what they are used for.
What is Linear Bearing?
As its name implies, a linear bearing is designed to provide motion in a straight line. This makes it ideal for guiding wheeled vehicles such as wagons and carts and some types of cranes. The term is also used to describe a type of machine tool. Linear bearings are often categorized according to how they provide support along their shafts—or columns—using other moving parts such as wheels or rollers. Here are five types you might encounter
Types of Linear Bearing and Their Advantages
1. Roller Bearings
These bearings support heavy radial loads because they do not rely on friction between surfaces to stay together. Roller bearings allow parts to move smoothly without damage, even if they are moving at high speeds. They also reduce wear on other parts in motion. Roller bearings make machines last longer without having to invest in costly repairs. This makes them ideal for low-maintenance environments such as shopping malls, arenas, or factories where continuous operation is prioritized.
Advantages of Roll Bearing
- Compared with other linear bearings, roller bearings have a high load capacity, long life, less noise, no play, and flexible structure.
- Because of their properties, such as hardness, wear resistance, and high-level plasticity, they are often used in power transmission equipment.
2. Ball Bearing
The most common linear bearing is a ball bearing. This type of bearing consists of metal balls contained within a metal race. Lubrication is needed to ensure smooth operation and provide some dampening against shock loads. Ball bearings have high load capacities, are inexpensive, and are readily available in many sizes and configurations. The downside to ball bearings is that they wear out faster than other linear bearings.
Advantages of Ball Bearing
- When moving in a single direction, ball bearings offer high speed with low friction.
- Ball bearings have very little tolerance for sideways movement.
3. Flanged Linear Bush Bearing
Flanged linear bush bearings have slots machined into their outer diameter. The slots are usually located at equal intervals on both sides of the bearing, making them easy to mount without fuss. However, flanged linear bush bearings aren’t sealed against dust or water, so they don’t work well in high-moisture environments. However, they can last for up to 20 years if properly lubricated in low-moisture environments such as machine tools or computer printers.
Advantages of Flanged Linear Bush Bearing
- Large contact area with a liner.
- The bearing does not influence design. For example, you can place it in any position without considering structure interference.
- These bearings are comparatively smaller than other types of linear bearings. So they are easy to install and adjust.
Linear bearings are designed to move axially, as opposed to ball bearings, which are designed to move in all directions. These bearings can be used in different ways and with varying effectiveness depending on the application, but three main types of linear bearings tend to be used most often. You can choose a linear bearing upon your need and requirement from the above options.