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We have discussed 8 reasons of bearing failure in our previous post, now we will discuss here the complete fundamental principle and terminology in bearing and its applications. 

I have observed when a mechanical engineer enters in maintenance field, he first shows interest in learning the basic of bearings, therefore keeping this point under consideration, i am going to start one post especially for fundamentals of bearing and its applications.

Let us see what we will secure after thoroughly reading of this post

1. Basic working components of bearings
2. Types of bearing
3. Handling of bearings
4. Installation of bearings
5. Operating conditions of bearing
6. Conditioning and monitoring of bearings
7. Preventive maintenance of bearings
8. Troubleshooting of bearings

Bearing is basically defined as device which is used in order to provide the support and also to provide the guide for an oscillating, rotating, or sliding shaft and also for wheel to revolve successfully.

Whenever we require a shaft to rotate or wheel to rotate, we will surely need bearing in order to secure the desired operation. Principle of application of a bearing is to reduce the friction between the two objects those are in relative motion with each other.

Basic working components of bearings

There are basically four components, those are very important for smooth performance of bearings.

Outer ring

Outer ring of a bearing is also termed as outer race and it protect the internal components of bearings. Outer ring of bearing will be fixed with bearing housing during installation of bearing and therefore outer ring should be machined precisely and smoothly.

Inner ring

Inner ring of a bearing is also termed as inner race and it will be fixed over the bearing sheet provided on the shaft during installation of bearing.

Rolling elements

Rolling elements of a bearing is very crucial component of a bearing. It will keep the bearing inner ring and outer ring at a distance and will permit the smooth movement of shaft within bearing housing. Rolling elements might be balls or rollers on the basis of type of load and operating conditions and also on type of applications.

On the basis of shape of rolling elements of bearings, these are classified in two major categories i.e. roller bearings and ball bearings.

If we consider ball bearings, there will be groove made over the outer surface of inner ring and over the inner surface of outer ring and these grooves will be termed as ball path as rolling elements i.e. balls in case of ball bearing will rotate within this ball path.

If we consider roller bearings, rollers will rotate over the flat surface provided over the both races and these flat surfaces will be termed as roller path.

Let us see one figure of a bearing, where we may easily distinguish the outer ring, inner ring, cage and rolling elements of bearings.


Cage of a bearing is also termed as separator as it will hold the rolling elements between inner ring and outer ring and also it will also keep the rolling elements at equal distance with each other.

We will discuss the various functions of a bearing and also the requirement of a bearing in our next post.

Resources: SKF Bearings maintenance manuals

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