Ball bearings also known as bearings and journal bearings feature metal balls between an inner ring and outer ring. The rings feature raceways in which the balls sit. Bearings are designed to reduce rotational friction while supporting radial loads and axial loads. Incorporating a rolling element that guarantees a low coefficient of friction. Ball bearings ensure the smooth and uninterrupted rotation of an axle or motor shaft for example.
With applications in everything from bicycle wheels to aerospace engineering, the ball bearing is a versatile rolling element bearing. They are ideal for high-speed applications with light to medium loads. For heavier loads, a Roller Bearing may be more suitable. Ball bearings are usually made from steel because of its durability. However, there are ceramic and plastic options available too. Single-row ball bearings are the most common, but double-row and triple-row are available too. We have many different bearing types in stock from global leading brands such as the industry dominator – SKF, our own trusted brand RS Pro, and FAG and INA.
The only way for a ball bearing to operate efficiently or at high speeds is with the right lubrication which can work at high temperatures. The correct oil or grease lubricant must be used with each bearing depending on its nominal lifespan and load. For further information about bearings and how to decipher the codes on them, see our ball bearings guide.
Ball bearings are available in open and sealed versions, depending on the environment. They are also available in a range of inside and outside diameters, supplied in metric sizes and mainly made from stainless steel or steel. Types include:
Ball bearings are used in objects with moving parts and have many applications. These include quite specific uses such as in appliances, machinery, gearboxes, and centrifugal pumps.