Archive for September, 2013

When Were The First Ball Bearings Used?

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Despite the fact that the earliest ball bearings are usually traced back to inventors from Europe, there is evidence that roller bearing concepts were used way earlier in other civilizations. Ancient China, for instance, showed examples that suggested they were the first to use mechanized armillary spheres between the 2nd and 8th centuries. Without metal bearing technology, that would not have come about.

There are examples from the 2nd century Hsueh-Chia-Yai village that showed the use of annular bronze objects made from internal grooves divided into four or eight compartments by small transverse partitions, all of them had granular rust. In the case that such rust came from the items resembling roller bearings, then they would be considered as the oldest ball-bearings to date.

Proper ball-bearings were ultimately used by Cellini in the sixteenth century. Isn’t it amusing that it took about 2000 years to come up with true ball-bearings from their distant roller-bearing predecessors?

The first caged ball bearing, one that dodges additional friction brought about by ball bearings that rub against each other, was described by Galileo in the seventeenth century. Mounting these bearings into a set never came about until almost 200 years late. This was when the first practical caged-roller bearing was invented by John Harrison, which he used for his marine timekeeper. Following that, the first patent for a ball race was associated with Philip Vaughan in the year 1794.

During those times, bearings were more frequently used in holding wheels and axles in order to remarkably lessen friction. They were composed of different materials that ranged from bronze, ceramic, glass, sapphire, steel, as well as wood. As a matter of fact, even old materials such as wood are still being used to date in old water mills, provided the water is able to give enough cooling and lubrication.

Jules Suriray was awarded a patent on ball bearings in August 1869. His ball bearings were fitted onto a bicycle, and it wound up winning the world’s first bicycle road race in November of 1869. Such type of bearings are the direct ancestor of ones that are still being utilized in bicycles and other wheel-based applications in this day and age.

Replacing Bearing on Snowmobile Drive Shaft

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Ah, mid-September.  The football season has begun.  The weather is starting to chill down.  And thoughts of Winter are just around the corner.  Better be sure your snowmobile is ready for upcoming season!

Let’s start with a look at the drive shaft.  A snowmobile drive shaft has an elongated hollow tube that has a longitudinal extent. The tube contains a series of circumferentially spaced, longitudinally extending splines.

Every end of the tube has an insert for journal mounting the tube. At least two sprockets are mounted on the tube in a spaced relation.

Every sprocket contains an inner hub that comes with an inner circumferential surface contoured to complementarily engage with the tube in a frictional fit.

In the event your speedometer ceases to work, it could indicate that your bearing went out. Watch this video and learn how to replace the bearing when it goes out on a snowmobile drive shaft.


Automotive Seals And Their Applications

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Without a doubt, seals are important in the automotive industry.

Oil Seals

They are also known as grease, fluid, or dirt seals. They’re considered to be an essential element in pretty much any type of running vehicle.

They protect every type of bearings and have three main purposes:

  • Holding and retaining lubricants and liquids
  • Keeping contaminants at bay
  • Seal or separate dissimilar fluids or gases


  • Axles
  • Camshafts
  • Crankshafts
  • Differentials
  • Input shafts
  • Pinions
  • Timing covers
  • Wheels

Commercial Vehicle Oil Seals

They are built to last and pave the way for less than perfect running conditions. They have rubber ribs that will cover the whole axle shoulder, sealing around grooves and nicks. The running surface of the seal is even and flexible, thus making it possible for the seal to move from side to side if need be. Vent holes found in commercial vehicle seals allow lube to flow to and from seal, and that mechanism keeps heat build-up at bay.


  • Commercial vehicles
  • Over-the-road equipment

O-Ring Seals

These seals are available for pretty much every operating vehicle, from motorcycle ATVs to off-road construction equipment.


  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Off-highway
  • Oil refineries
  • Power transmission


They can be utilized on a unusual or slightly misaligned shaft. They are composed mainly of rubber, making them totally easy to mount. You could slip them over the shaft and mount them against the counterface. They are ideal for retrofitting.


  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Off-highway
  • Oil refineries
  • Power transmission