What are ball bearings for?

igu-blog-adm | 30. June 2019

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Without ball bearings , the world would not be spinning properly, would it?

Sometimes you just see the world as it is. Everything grows and develops. Everything is in motion. Everything is considered as self-evident. However, one hardly thinks about such a marvel of technology: The ball bearing. We meet it every day in our life. Be it on the way to work by bike, train, bus or car. Ball bearings are present in all means of locomotion. But also in kitchen appliances, training equipment in the gym or in the evening on the bowling alley – ball bearings are everywhere!

Since the development of the steam engine and the beginning of industrialisation, ball bearings have become indispensable in our everyday lives. Ball bearings are also referred to as rolling bearings. They are bearings in which rolling bodies between an inner race and an outer race reduce frictional resistance, in contrast to the lubrication in plain bearings. They serve as a fixing for axes and shafts, whereby, depending on the design, they absorb radial and/or axial forces and at the same time enable the rotation of the shaft or of the components mounted on an axis (e.g. a wheel).[1]


[1] Source: Bernd Künne: Introduction to the machine elements – design, calculation, design. 2nd Edition. Teubner, 2001, S. 147

Diagram 1: Structure: 1. Outer race 2. Guide 3. Rolling element 4. Cage 5. Guide 6. Inner race
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