There are a number of different types of bearings and applications for each of them. This can make it very difficult to keep them all straight. The bearing type that is going to be described is flange bearings.
A flange bearing is utilized when the shaft axis is perpendicular to the surface the bearing is being mounted to. They have a sealed bearing that is preassembled into a flange housing.
They are mounted in a cast iron flange and used with other bearing types. There are three basic styles that are used, the first is the round or square four-bolt, the second is the tri-cornered three-bolt, and the third is the diamond-shaped two-bolt. They are able to be used with plain bearings, roller bearings, needle roller bearings, and ball bearings.
It is pretty common for ball bearings to have flanges as options in their configurations. The flanges aid in positioning, mounting, and operation. This is particularly for instrument or miniature bearings, but it can be applicable for other bearing types as well.
Flanges are used with bearings to assist in securely positioning them for reliable operation. This is done on external housings that mount a bearing unit. The flange bearing supports a shaft that runs perpendicular to the bearing’s mounting surface. The material can be bronze, plastic, or made of other materials of which the bearing is made from.
Different issues can happen when heavy loads or high speeds create shaft flex, vibrations, or axial load. Adding a flange bearing in a way that is supportive to the shaft can ease the issues that are being caused. Based on the speed and length of the shaft, the application may need more than one bearing.
Ball bearing flanges are usually installed at the outer end of the shaft to provide low friction and smooth rotary movement of the shaft. The little contact in this application does not combat linear movement though.
Plain bearings, or bushing, will provide a smooth flat surface that controls linear movement by the shaft. This kind of flange bearing is likely to contain an oil-imbed nylon or bronze bushing so that it will not require frequent oiling for continued operation.
Flange-mounted needle roller bearings can support radial loads and may or may not require oiling as some types are maintenance free.
In order to account for radial load support and to fight linear movement of the shaft, roller bearing flanges are the best choice.
There is greater contact of the long roller bearing than with a ball bearing. This gives the roller flange bearing the ability to support the greatest amount of load of all flange types.
I hope this helps with understanding how flanges, when combined with different bearing types, are useful for combating different loads, and excess shaft movement. This will ensure longer and safer operations of the machinery.