What shape are ball bearings? they’re shaped sort of a ball, as everyone knows, right?
The funny thing about what everyone knows is that everybody are often wrong. as an example , everybody thinks that the America’s Cup is an ocean-sailing race, and yet Swiss managed to win the Cup. For those readers who are geographically-challenged, Switzerland may be a land-locked country comprised entirely of mountains.
What does this need to do with ball bearings. little or no , I suspect, but balls have little or no to try to to with ball bearings, either. Ball bearings look more like hula hoops. But don’t try using them for that – you’ll find them inconveniently heavy and painfully small.
You can view an image of a needle bearing within the middle of this needle bearing supplier’s page.
So what are those stunted metal tube donuts called ball bearings for anyway? Are they used as a spare wheel? Do they hold in evil shop-floor spirits? No, they assist things move more efficiently. In an early demonstration of bearing usage, three ladies pulled a locomotive (It was just an indication , not a career development).
Many bearings look very similar, whether or not they are ball bearings, roller bearings or other bearings. What?! Other bearings?
What is a needle bearing , anyway?
Ball bearings are formed with an outer ring, an inner ring, a cage or a retainer inside, and a rolling element inside, typically a ball (which is why they’re called ball bearings). Roller bearings are formed employing a roller rather than a ball, which is why they’re called roller bearings (Yes, finally something that creates sense!). Other bearings look a bit like metal tubes, called plain bearings or bush bearings. they appear like sawed off pipe or tube (something my metal tube bending client would be turning into architecturally glamorous structural supports).
The principle of bearings is that the same principle behind the wheel: things move better by rolling than by sliding. they’re called “bearings” because they bear the load of the thing , like an inline skate or the top of burr drill , allowing the thing to glide over them with incredible ease and speed. Unlike wheels, they do not activate an axel; they activate themselves.
You can see this in action with some great cut-away pictures of bearings.
The balls or rollers spin on themselves inside the bearing, reducing friction for the machine parts attached to them. It’s much neater than employing a bucket of oil, especially in dental equipment, and significantly more reliable than hamsters on a wheel.
Once upon a time, all bearings were metal – sort of a metal tube or pipe with metal balls stuck inside. lately , more and more are made from ceramic or maybe plastic (like everything else during this world!).
If you’re still confused about why ball bearings aren’t shaped like balls, just remember that you simply drive on a parkway and park on a driveway. And you’ll even try sailing your sea-craft through Swiss Alps. But don’t try playing a game of one-on one basket bearing.