So, how does the world work today? What makes it work the way it does? There are loads of things, such as airplanes, cell phones, electricity and so on and so forth. What you may not have noticed is the role of ball bearings that enable at least two of the most important functions. If they didn’t exist, we would not be able to use our cars. Similarly, engines wouldn’t work either. The role of these “balls” is to reduce the amount of friction in addition to keep the parts in place. Let’s read further about the types and uses of bearings.

Types of Bearings

You can find different types of bearings in the market. Let’s find out about those that play an important role in your routine life. They are most commonly used. That’s the reason you can buy them at any hardware store.

Radial: this is a simple type of bearings that can be found in most machines. They feature two metal circles. Between these metal circles, you can find small metal balls. If you want to see how they look like, you can open up an old drill or skateboard.

Pillow Block: This type of bearing is encased in a cabinet that can be connected to a surface that is parallel to the rotational axis.

Cam Follower: This is another common type of radial load bearing. It features a threaded rod. Typically, it is designed to ride on a cam follower in order to enable linear motion. However, their application is not restricted to cam follower only. They have many other interesting uses as well.

Ball Bushing: This type is used commonly in order to enable smooth movement of the heads of the CNC routers and 3D printers. Unlike the other types, this type of bearing is used in order to restrict radial movement. At the same time, it allows smooth linear movement.

Automotive Wheel: Generally, this type of bearing is used to overcome both the axial and radial load.

Thrust: As far as thrust bearings are concerned, they are used in automotives. This may have reminded you of bar tools and susans. Apart from this application, they are used for a number of other purposes as well, especially machines where smooth rotation is required, such as a camera.

Other Alternatives

You don’t need to opt for an alternative if your design works great with a simple bearing. However, you need to have a solid plan to make your system work. If you are in a rush, you can use some type of low friction stuff. For instance, you can make use of a Teflon washer as well. If possible, you may also want to give a go to the low-friction coatings.

If you are not on a tight budget, you may want to use bearings. As a matter of fact, it’s good to see your project working with ball bearings. As far as regular use is concerned, there is nothing better than bearings. So, keep using them for as long as you can