Roller bearings offer a high load-carrying capacity, the main difference between a roller and a ball bearings being the contact area of the rolling element. Rolling elements have a larger linear contact area with the raceway, while balls have point contact. Usually operating at lower speeds due to the additional friction created with the larger contact area, the roller bearing is well suited for heavy, slower rotating assemblies. Metric & imperial sizes with cylindrical, spherical, tapered or needle rolling elements are available. Each type has unique benefits and should be selected depending upon application requirements.
With so many different roller bearing types available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for your application. Below we give some basic pointers for choosing the correct bearing.
The many variations of cylindrical roller bearings available offer many application possibilities. Cylindrical bearings with cages accommodate heavy radial loads and peak loads. For heavy-load applications running at moderate speed a full-compliment CRB bearing will probably be better suited.
Needle roller bearings offer a great compact solution. Needle roller and cage assemblies are self-contained and ready to mount, making them ideal in applications where the shaft can be used as raceways requiring minimal radial space.
Tapered roller bearings accommodate combined loads (simultaneously acting radial and axial loads.)
Spherical roller bearings can accommodate heavy radial loads and axial loads in both directions.
CARB toroidal roller bearings have one row of long, slightly barrel-shaped rollers. They are non-locating and accommodate exclusively radial loads.
Cylindrical roller thrust bearings are very stiff and require little axial space. This type of bearing can accommodate heavy axial loads and impact loads but not radial loads.
Spherical roller thrust bearings with their specially designed raceways and asymmetrical rollers can accommodate axial loads acting in one direction and simultaneously acting radial loads.