Bearings are an essential component of various machinery. This donut-shaped component serves to limit or restrict the motion of moving parts while also decreasing the amount of friction.
While all bearings provide support to the machinery in which they are used, they are available in various types to suit the needs of different applications. One common type of bearing is known as a thrust bearing.
What Are Thrust Bearings?
Thrust bearings are a specific type of rotary bearing intended to support axial loads and reduce friction. When in motion, a machine’s rotating parts glide along the thrust bearings, which are designed to permit and assist rotation around a fixed shaft or axis. Primary functions of thrust bearings include transferring thrust loads applied on the shaft and preventing the shaft from drifting in the axial direction.
Typically, thrust bearings are placed against a raised thrust collar around a shaft. The thrust collar permits the transference of the axial load from the shaft to the bearing. In most situations, thrust collars are used in pairs, situated on either side of the thrust collar.
Thrust bearings are generally composed of two washers, or raceways, along with the rolling elements; however, there are various types of thrust bearings available to suit the needs of different applications. One common type of thrust bearing is thrust ball bearings, which contain small metal balls around the perimeter to assist with the rotation of a machine’s moving parts.
Thrust Bearing Applications/Industries
A variety of applications and industries rely on thrust bearings, such as centrifuges and various medical equipment. Other common applications include:
- Automotive. Thrust bearings are used in vehicles to support axial forces caused by helical gears in modern vehicle gearboxes. They are also ideal for higher speed automotive applications that require oil lubrication.
- Transportation. Thrust bearings are very important for the transportation industry as they allow for more powerful and improved engines and propellers.
- Generators and water turbines. Certain types of thrust bearings are capable of reducing friction and drag, making them ideal for generators and water turbines.
- Heavy-Duty Machinery. Thrust bearings with high load ratings are suitable for heavy-duty machinery, such as drills and cranes.
- Industrial Machinery. Several types of industrial machinery have a need for rotating shafts, making thrust bearings a crucial component.
- Mining & Construction. Thrust bearings are typically made using corrosion-resistant materials, allowing them to support axial loads in equipment used in demanding mining and construction environments.
Benefits/Importance of Thrust Bearings
Thrust ball bearings offer many benefits that make them an important component in a wide range of applications. Their benefits include:
- High reliability
- High load capacity
- Withstands harsh environments
- Easy mounting and dismounting
- Various types to suit different needs
- High availability
- Lowest friction of all rotary bearings
- Runs cool at high speeds
Thrust Bearings From SPB-USA, LLC
Thrust ball bearings support axial loads and reduce friction in a wide range of applications, including automotive, heavy-duty machinery, and more. Depending on your specific needs, various types of thrust bearings are available. At SPB-USA, we are a leading manufacturer of precision bearings, including thrust bearings. Our thrust ball bearings are available with or without raceways and come in various sizes and load ratings to meet the needs of different applications.
Visit our Thrust Bearings Catalog for more.