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Office address
National Engineering Industries Ltd.
Khatipura Road Jaipur – 302006 Rajasthan, India
Phone Number

Toll Free: 1800 3000 6222
Telephone: +91 141 222 3221
Fax: +91 141 222 1926, 222 2259
CIN: U29130WB1946PLC013643

Ball Bearings

What are Ball Bearings?

One of the most significant components of all machines and even most household appliances is a ball bearing. It helps connect two machine components, which move relative to one another, in a smooth and frictionless motion. While there will be friction on the surface contact area, the same will not disrupt the operations of the machinery. In real life applications of ball bearings it is observed that one component will be a rotating shaft while the other will have a fixed housing.

Ball bearing is not a single component, but an assembly of different components. Primarily there are four main parts in any ball bearing. 

  • An inner ring which is shaped like a grooved track raceway.
  • An outer ring which is also grooved to form a raceway.
  • A number of hardened steel balls that run through the raceway. 
  • A retainer that acts as a ball separator.

These races have different diameters: the smaller one fits inside the larger, and the metal balls fill the space between them which can be restrained and separated using a retainer or cage. Their low friction rotary motion provides smooth operation, high performance and efficient weight management due to their spherical shape.

What are the types of Ball Bearings?

Single Row Deep Groove
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Deep Groove Ball Bearing
Engineered for seamless operation, these bearings excel in handling both radial and axial loads, making them perfect for a multitude of industrial applications.
Single Row Angular Contact Ball Bearing
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Angular Contact Ball Bearing
Built to withstand combined radial and axial loads, these bearings ensure precise motion control in high-speed applications.
Self aligning ball bearing
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Self Alinging Ball Bearing
Designed to accommodate misalignment and shaft deflection, these bearings offer superior performance and minimal maintenance.
Thrust Ball Bearings
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Thrust Ball Bearing
Built to withstand high axial loads, these bearings ensure reliable performance and precise motion control in demanding environments.
  • Radial Ball Bearing: This is the most common ball bearing variant which has one row of balls, designed to carry loads perpendicular to the axis of rotation. Its capacity for bearing axial, or thrust load might be greater than its radial capacity.
  • Angular-contact Bearing: This has a section of the outer-race groove, which allows the insertion of more balls. This further enhances the potential for carrying large axial loads in one direction. When paired with a complimentary bearing it can carry load in both directions.
  • Single-row Ball Bearings: Small size and easy clearance ensures no appreciable misalignments.
  • Double-row Ball Bearings: These self-aligning bearings have two rows of balls, a spherical inner surface on the outer ring.
  • Ball Thrust Bearings: Two grooved plates with balls between, a thrust bearing will help in case of high thrust based operations.

What are the Applications of Ball Bearings?

Ball bearings are almost everywhere. You would be surprised to know how many industries are running on ball bearings. 

  • Aerospace & Aircraft Control: Bearings are designed for aerospace applications and aircraft controls. These industries require ball bearings, roller bearings and needle roller bearings. There are specific customised bearings made for jet engines and helicopters. 
  • Automotive: From tractors to motor cars and bikes, bearings are the main components holding every moving vehicle together. 
  • Railways: The entire locomotive runs on bearings and railways have specific bearing needs that are addressed to managing speed and extra load effectively. The wear and tear of quality bearings are also less.
  • Textile: The spinning mills and heavy machinery at the textile mills are run efficiently with help of bearings.  
  • Medical /Dental: From dentures to medical equipment, everything involves bearings although these bearings are the miniature versions suitable for the equipment.  
  • Engineering Equipment: From pumps, to heavy machinery on factory floors, especially those carrying high loads, high level of heat generation and in need of lubrication, all these needs are effectively fulfilled by ball bearings with minimised downtime and full productivity. 
  • Sporting and Consumer Goods: Bearings are custom made for skates, skateboards, fishing reels and rail cars.


What is the basic principle of ball bearings?

The basic principle of ball bearings is to reduce friction between two moving surfaces by replacing sliding friction with rolling friction.

  • Small spherical balls (or rollers) trapped between two concentric rings.
  • When the inner ring (shaft) and outer ring (housing) of the bearing rotate relative to each other, the balls facilitate smooth and efficient rotation by rolling instead of sliding.
  • This minimizes friction and wear enhancing life of the equipment.

What is a ball bearing device?

A ball bearing device is a mechanical component used to support rotating shafts or axles while minimizing friction and allowing smooth movement. It consists of

  • an inner ring (or inner race),
  • an outer ring (or outer race), and
  • a set of spherical balls (or rollers) held in place by a cage or retainer.

Ball bearing devices are commonly found in various applications, including automotive, industrial machinery, household appliances, and aerospace systems.

What material is used for ball bearings?

Ball bearings are commonly made from high-quality alloy steels, such as chrome steel or stainless steel, which offer excellent strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance.

These materials are chosen for their ability to withstand high loads, shock loads, and harsh operating conditions while maintaining dimensional stability and wear resistance.

Who uses ball bearings?

Ball bearings are used by a wide range of industries and applications, including automotive manufacturers, industrial machinery builders, aerospace engineers, and consumer electronics manufacturers.

They are found in everyday items such as cars, bicycles, washing machines, electric motors, and computer hard drives, where smooth and efficient rotation is essential.

Why are ball bearings used in motors?

  • Ball bearings are used in motors to support rotating shafts or axles while minimizing friction and allowing smooth movement.
  • They help reduce energy consumption, enhance motor performance, and extend the service life of motors by providing reliable and efficient operation.
  • Ball bearings are commonly found in various types of motors, including electric motors, combustion engines, and turbine engines.

What is ball bearing size?

Ball bearing size refers to the dimensions of the bearing, including its bore diameter, outer diameter, and width. These dimensions are standardized according to international standards, to ensure compatibility and interchangeability between different bearing manufacturers. Ball bearing size may vary depending on the specific application and load requirements.

What is a ball bearing’s radius?

Ball bearing radius refers to the curvature of the inner and outer races of the bearing, which determines the contact area between the balls and the races. The radius of curvature is carefully designed to ensure smooth and efficient rotation of the bearing while minimizing stress concentration and wear. Proper bearing radius design is critical for achieving optimal performance and longevity in various applications.

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