Bearing is a mechanical element that is widely used across the machine industry. Its usage is so fundamental that people call it the “bread and butter”. Bearings are utilized in all aspects of machines, and because they are such a subtle part of the machine, people who are not familiar with industrial work probably have never heard the term.
A ballscrew bearing, which is a type of bearing, is specifically used in complement with ball screws and will be mainly addressed in this article. Just like any other bearings, ballscrew bearings are essentially parts that assist object’s rotation. They offer support to the shaft that rotates in a machine. Generally speaking, bearings can be utilized across a broad range of machinery such as automobiles, airplanes, electric generators, etc. They can even be used in everyday appliances in our household, such as electric fans, refrigerators, air conditioners and so on. Bearings are also known as the support bearings because they support the rotating shafts of all sorts of machine components like wheels, gears, rotors, turbines and so on, which allow them to rotate coherently.
In a nut shell, countless of machines require multiple shafts for rotation, which is why bearings are an irreplaceable part in the machine industry. Although often neglected, the use of bearings has lasted thus far and will continue to be utilized.
In this section, we will take a closer look into the features and characteristics of ball screw bearings. Ball screw bearings, also commonly known as the ball screw support bearings, are often used in airplane parts. They are specially designed and configured to provide additional axial strength, precision and elevated thrust loading for us with ball or lead screws. Ball screw bearings are typically angular contact bearings as well which are available in duplex, triplex and quadruplex configurations. They also come in single or double row design with various mounting configurations. Other ball screw support bearings you will find include separate thrust and radial roller bearings in a single assembly. Some of the core features that you should look for in a high quality ball screw bearing are shown as below:
● Rigidity: Ball screw bearings should be designed specifically to provide large axial rigidity and accurate rotation with lower starting torque.
● Capacity: Ball screw bearings should have high load capacity for electric injection molding. They should provide enhanced service life through the use of optimally designed ball diameter and contact angle for a higher load rating.
● Seals: Ball screw bearings should be available with a lubricant seal for machine tool applications, or a highly reliable and debris resistant contact seal.
● Ease of use: Ball screw bearings should be compact and come with high-performance grease in order to offer enhanced ease of handling.
● Longevity: Material cleanliness should be emphasized and optimized to improve the reliability and life span of ball screw bearings.
● Installation: Ball screw bearings should be easy to install and adjusted to achieve optimum preload.
Other important factors that you should consider when buying ball screw bearings are the load ratings, size, and operation speed. The relevant specification such as the detailed load and life ratings should be provided by manufacturers.
So, you may be wondering what kind of role does ball screw bearings actually play, and how they are ensuring smooth workflow of the machines. Essentially, ball screw bearings have two major functions that allow the job to get done:
1. Reduce friction and smoothen rotations: Friction is bound to be created with the rotation shaft and the part that supports the rotation are put together. Bearings are used between these components to reduce friction and make rotation smoother. This allows the amount of energy consumption to be lessened, which is the most important purpose of ball screw bearings.
2. Offer protection to the part that supports the rotation, and allow rotation shaft to be maintained in the right position: A substantial amount of force is present between the rotation shaft and the part that supports the rotation. In this respect, bearings are designed to prevent potential damage from the large force. They also help maintain the desired position of the rotation shaft.
Simply put, the existence of ball screw bearings, or bearings of any sort, allow use to use machines over and over again for a long period of time. Moreover, despite the long history and versatility of bearings, it is important to continue developing these compact tools so that more advanced machines can be manufactured in a harsher or more specialized context.
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