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Manufacturing standards and the design of angular contact bearings are what enable them to function at a high level of precision.

In this article, we’ll describe the main characteristics of angular contact bearings and what makes them unique and a good choice for precision machinery.  

Contact Angles

The first noticeable difference you’ll see is that it has only one high shoulder on the outer ring. This design allows the angular contact bearing to have a high load capacity. This high shoulder also creates two intersecting lines, which form the contact angle of the bearing. Standard contact angles are usually 15° and 25° (compared to 8° on radial bearings).  

The contact angle allows the bearing to also support higher loads as well as faster speeds. Typically, the 15° contact angle supports faster speeds than the 25° contact angle   

Parts & Material of an Angular Contact Bearing

There are three main parts that make up the angular contact bearing they are the rings, cage, and ball material.

Below is a description of each component and the material used when it’s manufactured. Note: Other material options are available depending on your manufacturer. If you are ordering GMN angular contact bearingscontact us if you need a different material that isn’t listed here.   

One: Bearing Rings (a.k.a. Bearing Races oe Bearing Raceway)

Our bearing rings are manufactured with 52100 vacuum degassed chrome steel (100Cr6) and are heat stabilized for temperatures up to 302°F (150°C).

An additional heat treatment can be performed for working temperatures up to 572°F (300°C). For working temperatures above 572°F (300°C), we manufacture the rings with high temperature tool steel.

Two: Bearing Cage

A standard TA cage made from phenolic resin with fine mesh cotton webbing allows operating temperatures of 248°F (120°C).

TXM (PEEK) cages are available on request and provide an optimized performance over the TA cages.

Here are some benefits of selecting a TXM cage:

  • Made with PEEK and that is lighter than the TA cage material
  • Great for grease lubrication vs the TA cage is best for oil lubrication

Three: Ball Bearing Material

Here are the two common options for ball material:

  • 52100 vacuum degassed chrome steel (100Cr6), commonly referred to as bearing steel
  • Ceramic, Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) which can operate at faster speeds and has lower rolling friction. Read all about the benefits of ceramic ball material.

Understanding Precision

Understand the differences between angular contact bearings and radial bearings to select the right bearing for your application’s needs.

Once you understand those ball-bearing differences, you can see how these angular contact bearing characteristics really set them apart and allow them to carry heavy loads at high speeds.

Contact us and let us know if you have any questions or if you’d like pricing and availability for your next ball bearing project.

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