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Two Styles of Roller Bearings
Jan 10 , 2022
Two Styles of Roller Bearings

Our lined bearings can carry 4 to 8 times the load of ball bearings. New line of stainless steel precision shafting features 1/64" x 45° chamfer at both ends.

Linear Bearings

Linear motion is the most basic of all motion. Linear ball bearings provide linear movement in one direction.

A roller bearing, carries a load by placing rolling balls or rollers between two bearing rings called races. These bearings are comprised of an outer ring and several rows of balls retained by cages. Roller bearings are manufactured in two styles: ball slides and roller slides.

Ball Slides

Ball bearing slides are the most common type of linear slide. They use self-lubricated ball bearings housed in the base. This arrangement offers smooth precise movement along a single-axis linear design. Typically constructed from aluminum, hardened cold rolled steel or galvanized steel, ball bearing slides consist of two linear rows of ball bearings contained by four rods located on opposite sides of the base, which support the carriage for smooth linear movement. This low-friction linear movement can be powered by a drive mechanism, by hand, or inertia. Ball bearing slides have a lower load capacity compared to other linear slides, this is because the balls are less resistant to wear and abrasions. Ball bearing slide applications include fragile instrumentation, robotics, cabinetry and appliances.

Roller Slides

Roller slides are non-motorized. Roller slides are based on linear roller bearings, which are frequently criss-crossed to provide heavier load capabilities and better movement control. They provide low-friction linear movement for hand-powered equipment. Roller slides are versatile and can be adjusted to meet numerous applications which typically include clean rooms, vacuum environments, material handling and automation machinery.

Consisting of a stationary linear base and a moving carriage, roller slides work similarly to ball slides, except that the bearings housed within the carriage are cylindrical shaped instead of ball shaped. The bearing races are "V" grooved, one being on the top carriage and the other on the base. Typically, carriages are constructed from aluminum and the rods and rollers are constructed from steel.

Although roller slides are not self-cleaning, they are suitable for environments with low levels dirt and dust. Roller slides are capable of providing linear motion on more than one axis through stackable slides and double carriages. Roller slides have a broader contact surface due to contact between the carriage and the base and resulting in less erosion.
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