They Are Strong & DurableEven though ball bearings handle misalignment better than roller bearings, roller bearings can manage more shock and impact. With their larger contact area, they’re designed to be used with larger loads and lower speeds, and each roller bearing shape has its unique advantages. Tapered and spherical roller bearings in particular are best at managing combined radial and thrust loads, for example. Overall, roller bearings are the preferred solution for heavy-load industrial applications.
They Can Be Greased or LubricatedEven with the right care and maintenance, bearings eventually fatigue to the point of failure, and they should be monitored as part of your regular maintenance program. Predictive maintenance allows you to replace bearings when needed instead of waiting for the entire machine to break down. In the meantime, proper lubrication is key to prolonging the service life of your bearings and ensuring optimum performance of your equipment. Lubricant serves several functions:
- Reduce friction and wear and tear
- Remove the heat generated by friction
- Cover the contact surface to reduce fatigue
- Prevent corrosion
- Prevent contamination (dirt, debris, etc.)
There Are More Options Based on GeometryThere are different shapes of roller bearings suited to different operations:
- Standard Cylindrical Roller Bearing: They don’t work with thrust loads, but it’s a trade-off for their greater radial load capacity. They’re available in single, double, and multi-row options.
- Needle Roller Bearing: These are similar to the cylindrical bearings, but they have a smaller diameter. This allows the needle roller bearing to be used for operations with less radial space, but it also means the bearing oscillates quickly and produces a lot of friction. Therefore, it’s better suited to slow-moving equipment.
- Tapered Roller Bearings: The tapered shape, which can have an angle of up to 30 degrees, is designed to accommodate thrust loading. The greater the taper, the more axial load the bearing can tolerate. These are most commonly used in pairs.
- Spherical Roller Bearings: Ideal for both axial loading and heavy shock loading, spherical bearings can manage a heavy load even when misaligned.