How to decide on a bearing

It is necessary to understand the operating conditions to select the most suitable bearing for the required application. While there are no definite rules in selecting a bearing; the following steps may be a general guideline in selecting the appropriate bearing for your application.

Application description

One of the most important steps in selecting a bearing is defining the application. Specifying the operating requirements (RPM, loads, duty cycles, etc.) and the running environment (temp, contaminants, etc.) of the bearing will support decisions for many bearing options. Some thought provoking aspects are:

  • Application (electric motor, conveyer, machine spindle, etc.)
  • Required RPM, Duty cycle, and expected life
  • Load (magnitude, direction and type), vibration(s)
  • Working/Ambient temperatures
  • Potential assembly/disassembly condition issues
  • Lubrication type and methods

Bearing preselection

The next appropriate step is to compare ones defined application requirements to the possible bearing specifications in this website. Some of the multiple aspects to be analyzed are:

  • Bearing materials
  • Dimensions/sizing
  • Application limits (RPM, static and dynamic loads, etc.)

Defining all aspects of the bearing

When one is approaching the RFQ stage of the project, all aspects of the bearing must be defined. Don’t forget:

  • Bearing type (radial, angular contact, roller, etc.)
  • Bearing precision (Abec 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or DIN P0, P6, P5, P4, P3, P2)
  • Bearing internal clearance (C2, C0, C3, C4, C5)
  • Bearing characteristics (materials, races, cage, balls, seals/shields, grease, etc.)

Making a decision

Within the bearing world, even though one has defined their required bearing attributes, one will be offered slight variations from various potential suppliers based on availability. In the conclusions of the procurement process a few more aspects should be considered:

  • Rank the most important bearing attributes to support the decision/choice of bearing
  • Cost
  • Delivery time/ stock location

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