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Your Bearing Guide

A mechanical part that supports a moving joint, is the definition of a bearing. A ball bearing is a type of rolling element that uses balls to separate the races and reduce rotational friction.

Bearings play a critical role in the operation of many applications. So, it comes as no surprise to us that precision ball bearings are what most people contact our engineering support team about.

Learning about bearing calculations and nuances on-the-go can get overwhelming. Therefore, we’ve created this robust ball-bearing guide and knowledge hub to help answer some questions you may have.

Get the information you need fast, no matter where you are in your bearing knowledge or engineering project.

Table of Contents

Download the full in-depth guide

How to Choose a Bearing

There are many different types of bearings available today with very little information on the differences between them. Maybe you’ve asked yourself “which bearing will be best for your application?”

In this article, we’ll cover 4 things you need to know about your application in order to choose the right type of bearing.

Types of Ball Bearings

Angular Contact Bearings

Angular contact bearings are crafted for precision and are a great choice for applications that:

  • Operate at high-speeds
  • Need bearing load support
  • Have tight tolerance requirements

Read more about angular contact ball bearings.

Does Your Application Need Radial Bearings?

You’re designing an application and trying to find the best bearing to support its operational requirements. Maybe you’re thinking that a radial ball bearing is the best choice for your application but still aren’t completely sure. If so, this article is for you!

This radial ball bearing guide will help you identify if you should use a radial ball bearing.

Furthermore, it’ll also cover the three key concepts you should know about radial ball bearings before you start using them. They are:

  • Internal Clearance
  • Bearing Fits on Shaft and Housing Units
  • Radial Bearing Material

Read all about this and more in our radial ball bearing guide.

Bearings with Ceramic Balls

Hybrid ball bearings provide advantages over the industry standard 52100 bearing steel bearings, but will your application benefit from the added advantages a ceramic ball bearing provides?

This article covers:

  • Hybrid bearing advantages
  • How to know if your application would benefit from a hybrid bearing
  • Specific types of applications that use ceramic bearing

Read our article about the advantages of using bearings with ceramic balls.

Bearing Lubrication

Lubricating a precision bearing optimizes the success of an application in addition to extending its lifespan. But, what are the differences in all the bearing lubricant options and when should you choose one over the other?

In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more as we dive deep into the world of ball bearing lubrication.

Ball Bearing Fits & Tolerances

Machined parts and components all have tolerance standards when manufactured. During operation, temperatures rise causing the bearings, shaft, and housing to expand, along with their respective tolerances.

Being prepared for these changes, when machining a shaft and housing, will ensure that you are choosing the correct bearing and fit for your application.

In this article, we’ll cover the resultant fits and why tolerancing & fits are important.

Understanding Bearing Load Types

Bearing load plays a major part in bearing performance and lifespan. When designing a new application, make sure to know the type and amount of load that the bearing will need to support.

In this article, we’ll explain, in detail, the four main types of bearing loads so you know how to select a bearing that will optimize the success of your machine.

Ball Bearing Preload

A predetermined amount of axial force that’s applied to a bearing is called bearing preload.

Preload optimizes the ball spin to roll ratio, increases application rigidity, and enhances the synergy between the ball and bearing raceway. As a result, preload improves bearing performance and helps align the bearing raceways.

We have two articles that breakdown ball bearing preload.

Understanding the Basics of Bearing Preload

In this article, we’ll go over the three types of preload: factory, spring, and application preload. As a result of reading, you’ll know the benefits of preloading bearings and the difference between each type of preload. 

Three Things That Could Change Your Bearing’s Preload

Sometimes a preload needs to be optimized or adjusted, but other times it doesn’t need any adjusting. Regardless, you should probably be aware of three outside influences that can alter a bearing’s preload value:

  • Application Speed (RPM)
  • Application Load / Load Type
  • Assembly Materials

Understanding how these three factors affect bearing preload will give you the knowledge to counteract them and consequently, create a strong bearing preload strategy. Read article >>

Bearing Performance Calculations

When an application is getting designed, bearings are being selected and evaluated. Having a theoretical bearing performance analysis performed can be an invaluable tool for an engineer.

A bearing performance analysis:

  • Predicts how well a bearing will operate in an application
  • Saves hours “trying to guess” how a bearing will perform
  • Saves money because it’s getting done before any parts are made
  • Optimizes the application’s design for max performance and bearing life

We’ve written these calculation articles to dive into the common bearing calculations that are performed during a bearing analysis and why they are important.

Please note: These calculations will focus primarily on angular contact ball bearings, but most of these are applicable to other bearings as well.

Calculating the Bearing Contact Angle

Static and dynamic contact angle calculations will help you estimate the changes that will happen to the contact angle when it’s installed and in operation.

These calculations are important because outside influences could make the contact angle too high or too low. Read Article >>

Shaft & Housing Calculations

The dynamic shaft and housing calculation will analyze whether the thermal effects and centrifugal force will change the bearing’s fit on the shaft and housing unit. Read Article >>

Preventing Bearing Failures

In a perfect world, bearings would barely be thought about because they’d perform so well.

But outside factors can have a dramatic effect on bearing performance. Therefore, this article will explain 8 common bearing problems and how to prevent them. Read Article >>

Bearing Precision Standards

All manufactured bearings aren’t created equally. There are industry tolerance standards to create consistency and above all, to ensure a uniform product is manufactured.

Read all about precision tolerance standards.


GMN Bearing USA strives for quality in everything we do. We provide fast, reliable support to our customers and have continued to grow for over 25 years in Houston, TX.

How We’re Different

Our expert team of mechanical engineers provide best in class support across various industries. We understand the common issues and concerns when working with bearings, and we’re here to help improve the performance of your bearing system.

GMN’s Quality & Standards

We go the extra mile to ensure quality is at the center of everything we do. Learn more about our Quality 360 philosophy and contact us today.

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