Bearing

In the history of Eastern and Western civilization, the structure of the bearings can be traced back a long time ago. Speaking of mechanical components, bearings are very important mechanical components that constrain relative movement to the desired motion and are responsible for reducing friction between moving parts. The design of the spindle bearings allows the moving parts to move freely in linear directions or rotate around a fixed axis. At the same time, it can also provide motion by controlling the normal force vector acting on the moving part. As a result, the spindle bearings are designed to fit on the machine tool spindle. Therefore, in order to achieve the above mentioned mechanical purpose, various kinds of spindles are designed with bearings inside. The design of the bearings is highly customized.

At First

The development of the bearings’ concept can be traced back to the middle Ages. One of the earliest versions was a rolling element bearing, which were wooden ball bearings model used to support a rotating table. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci had already utilized his drawings of ball bearings in helicopter design in the 16th century. Later, many Europeans devoted themselves to the development of bearings for mechanical structures in order to make mechanical operations smooth and reduce friction. Now, we will introduce some bearing types in this article so that readers can learn more about the industry. Bearing wheels are another topic to be discussed in the future.


Ball Bearings

In the machinery industry, a ball bearing set is a type of rolling element bearings that uses balls to maintain the separation between the bearing races. This concept was first proposed by Leonardo da Vinci. Ball bearings are designed to reduce rotational friction and support radial and axial loads. It can be achieved by using at least three races to accommodate the balls and transmit the loads through the balls.


Linear Bearings

In addition, linear bearings set is a bearing system designed to provide free motion in a single direction. There are many types of linear bearings in the industry. Motorized linear slides, such as machine slides, XY tables and some dovetail slides, are bearings moved by power mechanisms. Regarding the mechanism, not all linear bearings are motorized. In some non motorized dovetail slides, ball bearing slides, and roller slides can provide low-friction linear movement for equipment powered by inertia.


Linear Guide

A linear-guide way is a type of bearings’ designed to provide free motion in one direction. There are many types of linear guide ways. Some power linear guide ways, such as machine slides, XY tables, roller tables and some dovetail slides, are all bearings moved by the drive mechanism. Not all linear guide ways are powered. Among those non-powered dovetail slides, ball bearings’ slides and roller slides provide low-friction linear movement for equipment which is powered by inertia or by hand.


Spindle Bearings

In the mechanical sector, bearings are essential machine component, which can limit relative movements within an ideal range of motion and reduce friction between moving parts. The design of the spindle bearings allows the moving parts to move freely in linear or rotate freely around a fixed axis. At the same time, it can also provide motion by controlling the normal force vector acting on the moving part. In sum, spindle bearings are designed to fit in the machine tool spindle. Therefore, for the above mentioned mechanical purposes, bearings are designed inside various spindles.

The machine tool spindle is one of the critical components of modern machine tools. The spindle design is divided into many forms according to its driving mechanisms and power system. In the field of metalworking, the spindle has belt driven, motorized, gear driven, direct driven, and built in types. Compared with other drive mechanisms, the design of the direct driven spindle allows greater torque power, faster and more accurate activation, and a larger processing area.

Generally, a machine tool can contain multiple spindles, such as the headstock and tailstock spindles on a bench lathe machine, and the primary spindle is usually biggest. Therefore, if the references to the spindle without further restriction, it means that the target object is the primary spindle. Some machine tools dedicated to mass production have a group of 4, 6, or even more primary spindles. These are called multi-spindle machines, such as row drills and screw machines.

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