The unique dimensions and cross-sectional design of thin section bearings make them ideal for constrained spaces and applications with weight limits. Their compactness, light weight, and load capacity are valuable for designs that conventional bearings cannot accommodate. This blog will discuss how these bearings lend themselves to smarter product designs and budgetary savings. Learn more about why bigger is not always better.
What Is a Thin Section Bearing?
Thin section bearings, as the name suggests, have cross-sections with thicknesses that are not as wide as conventional bearings, and they come in open or shielded configurations. However, they are available in a large selection of bore diameters to fit numerous applications. The unique aspect of thin section bearings is that the cross-section remains constant as the bore diameter changes, rather than increasing or decreasing proportionately. These rugged components can reduce friction in anything from industrial equipment to regular office machinery, applicable in rotational motion tasks.
What Are the Benefits of Thin Section Bearings?
Thin section bearings solve some of the design issues that conventional ball bearings don’t address. Manufacturers create them with the least amount of difference possible between the inner and outer diameters. While the initial cost of thin section bearings is typically higher than conventional ball bearings, they equate to cost savings over time as they enable more flexibility in design optimizations, particularly regarding the following:
- Size. The bearings have smaller cross-sections compared to conventional bearings, and so they can accommodate tight spaces. Also, as bore size increases along with an application’s diameter, the bearings’ cross-sectional dimensions will remain the same, meaning they won’t require additional space in the design.
- Weight. The light weight of their cross-sections makes these bearings indispensable for precise designs that have weight restrictions. Additionally, even as bore size grows, the change to the bearings’ weight will be inconsequential.
- Decreased friction. These bearings operate with low friction, reducing vibrations and enabling smooth movement and stable axis rotation. As a result, thin section bearings offer optimal running accuracy.
Downsizing the weight and size of your overall design can cut down on manufacturing expenses. Also, thin section bearings play a beneficial role in performance, running stability, action accuracy, and reliability of applications. Despite their width, they still have the capacity to handle large loads with an optimal strength-to-weight ratio. These features make them essential for design work in industries such as robotics, aerospace, and medical and scientific equipment.
What Applications Benefit From Thin Section Bearings?
Applications primarily use thin section bearings as solutions for tight spaces. Some examples of applications that utilize thin section bearings include:
- Heat rollers
- Rotary encoders
- Stepping motors
- Robotic joints
- Healthcare devices
- Optical tools
- Fishing reels
How SPB Can Help
To choose the right ball bearings for your application, consider the expected load capacity, rotation and rotating speed, friction, and environment in which the bearings will perform. This will help you select the appropriate bearing design for high operational performance and accuracy. At SPB-USA, LLC, we understand that these components are important elements of complex machine systems and applications, and our team is here to help you select the bearing type and size that will meet your needs.
As a manufacturer of precision ball bearings at our ISO-certified facilities, we specialize in everything from extra-miniature flanged bearings and thin section bearings to large, open ball bearings. Sapporo Precision’s high-quality EZO Precision Ball Bearings can facilitate smooth, dependable motion between moving parts in critical equipment like medical instruments. The SPB line also has applications in motors, pumps, encoders, power tools, automation and measuring devices, and more.
Trust SPB to help you assess the criteria for your application and work with you to determine the optimal ball bearing type with the least wear resistance to achieve success in your operation. Contact us today for more information on how SPB can support your business, or request a quote today.