The four most popular types of mechanical bearings are plain bearings, rolling element bearings, jewel bearings, and fluid bearings. Each type of bearing has specific purposes. And people create them to carry specific types of radial, thrust, or loads. Also, a mechanical bearing is a component people use between two parts that allow rotational or linear movement, reducing friction and enhancing performance to save energy.
Plastic and metal bearings appear in many items we use every day, from computers to refrigerators to cars, they all contain bearings. Therefore, the concept for bearings is that things roll better than they slide. And, if wheel bearings did not exist, the wheels in your car would rattle, the transmission gear would not work correctly, and overall the car would not run smoothly. Bearings have a smooth inner and outer metal surface for metal balls to roll against. So, the device functions more efficiently because the balls or rollers help bear the load.
The simplest type of bearings are the plain bearings. They just have the bearing surface with no rolling elements. These bearing shave a high load-carrying capacity, usually are the least expensive depending on the materials, and have a longer life than other types.
Rolling element bearings include ball bearings and roller bearings. These bearings place balls or rollers between two rings that allow motion with little rolling resistance and sliding. The most common type of rolling-element bearing is ball bearings. This type of bearing can handle both thrust and radial loads but are usually used where the load is pretty small.
Because of the type of structure it has, there is minimal contact with the balls on the inner and outer races. The balls would deform and ruin the bearing if the bearing were to be overloaded. The roller bearings are able to take a heavier, radial load, such as conveyor belts. Because they do not use balls. They instead have cylinders allowing a greater amount of contact between the races, spreading the load out over a greater area. The only downside of this bearing is that it is not able to handle a lot of thrust loading.
People design Jewel Bearings to carry loads by rolling the axle a little off-center and are usually used in mechanical watches or clocks. They are plain bearings containing a metal spindle that turns in a jewel-lined pivot hole. They have a low and predictable friction which helps improve watch accuracy.
Fluid bearings have two types of bearings,fluid-dynamic bearings, and hydrostatic bearings. They support their load by using a thin layer of gas or liquid. The fluid-dynamic bearings utilize rotation to mold the liquid into a lubricating wedge against the inner surface. With the hydrostatic bearings, the fluids which are typically oil, water, or air rely on an external pump. People use these bearings in high load, high speed, or high precision applications. This is because regular ball bearings could not handle it or they would suffer from the amount of vibration and noise.
In conclusion, these are the four most common types of bearings. They all are a great benefit to our lives today.