Thrust bearings are important in various applications like automotive, etc. They are the rotary bearing type. Of all the thrust bearings, spherical roller bearings are often used as they have the highest load rating density. These bearings are composed of the various important components: the housing ring, the shaft ring, and the rolling elements. Both the shaft ring and rolling components are detachable.
The housing ring has spherical raceway. It enables the swivel of the bearing while the shaft ring is the component over which the cage and the rolling elements are mounted. The rolling elements are spherical in shape. The rings are also called as ‘washers’. Some bearings contain certain units which can support axial loads in two directions.
Spherical roller bearings allow rotation without any or very low friction. It also supports any angular misalignment. This type of bearing is specifically designed to support radial loads, as well as very heavy axial loads in a direction.
Designs Of Spherical Roller Bearings:
Over the years, the design and construction of the bearings are changed to support the modern needs. As the bearing’s internal design is not standardized, it may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as in between different series. However, some of the important bearing’s design parameters include:
- Shape of the roller and its dimension,
- Design of Flange,
- Bearing life,
- Non-rotational notches in the washer, etc.
Capabilities of the Spherical Roller Bearings:
Speeds and loads: The spherical roller bearings have high axial load capacity due to low speeds and high angle of contact which is about 50 degree.
Misalignment: The spherical raceway offers the ability of the self-alignment. It accepts misalignment of around 3 degrees. However, on the basis of the sealing system used in the device, the misalignment can be reduced or limited.
Installation of the Spherical Roller Bearing:
As the various elements of the spherical roller thrust bearing are detachable installation becomes very easy. The components of this type of roller thrust bearing are interchangeable. If the house ring is centered with the help of a radial bearing, then the shaft ring is set free to centre itself. Conversely, if thrust bearing is not associated with radial bearing, then the shaft ring is fitted on its position while the house ring is centered.
In case of spherical thrust roller bearing, they have to work under greater loads and hence oil lubrication is needed. When loads are moderate and the bearings are subjected to low speeds then, greasing can also be considered.
The spherical roller bearings are available in various dimensions in the market.