Posts Tagged ‘ball bearings’

Bearings in Mining Equipment

Friday, October 13th, 2017

A recent article in one of the more well-known mining magazines mentioned that the global mining market continues to grow and, in fact, it is blooming. This article stated that both underground and above ground mining equipment is expected to be sold for more than $30 billion by 2022.

What was very interesting however, about this article, was the fact that mining companies are continually eliminating outdated mining machines and replacing them with more modern up-to-date machinery. Even if they decide to keep the older machinery, most mining companies realize the benefits of using newer, more efficient solutions for the overhauling and replacing of parts.


Understanding the ABEC Scale for Ball Bearing Ratings

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Every industry has its own standards that help individuals who are both in and outside of the business to understand the quality controls that are in place.

Even for something made out of hard metal like ball bearings, they have various degrees of strength and can handle different levels of pressure. Depending on what exactly is needed, different types of ball bearings might work or might not.


Ball Bearing Problems And Avoidance

Friday, April 29th, 2016

The accurate diagnosis of ball bearing failure is important to prevent repeat failures and additional expenses.

Ball bearings are found in a vast majority of machinery applications today. These bearings are quite reliable even under the toughest of conditions. They have quite a substantial service life under normal operating conditions.


The Benefits Of Ceramic Ball Bearings

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Ceramic bearings have been creating quite a buzz in the industrial circles for the past few years. In fact, these bearings may have created more buzz than any other new product launched in the past.

There is a reason for all this attention. It is all about the enormous benefits of ceramic bearings compared to metal bearings.

For one thing, ceramic bearings are used in the automobile industry to achieve a faster speed with less energy.


Smallest Ball Bearings vs Largest (Part 2)

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Last week, we focused on the world’s tiniest ball bearings, and what they are used for.

Today, we’ll shine the spotlight on the giants of the ball bearing world, and detail for you what types of applications they are used for.

In my quest for the largest ball bearing in the world, I came upon a few interesting results.

One, was the ball bearing stationed outside the SKF headquarters building in Gothenburg, Sweden. There sits an enormous, steel-looking ball, representing the company with its statuesque presence.

The second, was the Californian Benecia-Martinez Bridge, which I’ll go into more detail about now.

The Benecia-Martinez Bridge

This is actually the name for three parallel bridges spanning the Carquinez Strait from North Benecia to Suoth Martinez, in California.

It was built in 1962 to replace car ferry services across the water, and features some amazing bearing action.

Each bearing is at least 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 40,000 to 50,000 pounds. Talk about some XXXL bearings!

And, when earthquakes hit, these magnificent bearings can allow for up to six feet of horizontal movement with little to no structural displacement. That’s unparalleled.

Making the bridges durable and safe during seismic activity cost around $122 million. Now the bridges are complete with a seismic monitoring system, seismic isolation bearings, steel joints, and expansion hinges.

So, how much larger are these bearings in comparison with the miniature bearings we talked about last week?

If the bearings are 12 feet in diameter, that comes out to 8,000 times greater than miniature bearings having 1.5 mm outside diameters. Wow!

Large Bearing Manufacturing

The manufacturer I found as having the capability of producing the largest bearings, at least here in the U.S. is Messinger Bearing, out of Philadelphia, PA.

Open since 1912, Messinger Bearings specializes in designing and manufacturing bearings suited for the steel, coal pulverizing, stacker, reclaimer and tunnel boring industries. They have the capability to manufacture bearings up to 25 Feet in diameter.

According to Messinger, the largest bearing they have created so far has been 18 feet in diameter. That’s 12,000 times greater than the smallest miniature bearings with their 1.5 mm outside diameters.

Messinger transports these gigantic bearings on flatbed trucks, mounted to an A frame standing upright, and escorted by the authorities.

In case you were wondering, these mega bearings can put you back anywhere from $100-$300,000, depending on the exact needs and specifications.

Applications for these large bearings are: cranes, steel mills, draglines, tunnel boring, and more.

Now, isn’t that somethin’?

We hope you learned a thing or two about the world’s tiniest and largest bearings, what they do, and how they’re made.

Bearings continue to surprise us as innovative and useful tools in the modern age.

Smallest Ball Bearings vs Largest (Part 1)

Friday, August 28th, 2015

As part of keeping you in the know, this will be a two part post featuring the descriptions and applications of the world’s smallest ball bearings, then next time, the world’s largest. Let’s jump right in.

The world’s smallest ball bearings are given the name “miniature ball bearings”, or they’re sometimes referred to simply as “small bearings”.

This type of ball bearing is ideal for high-performance, compact designs, operating at high speeds.

What Can Miniature Bearings Do?

As technology rapidly grows, it isn’t just the devices in our hands that grow smaller, but devices in all sorts of fields of work, too. That is where the tiny ball bearings come in to steal the show and help us out.

Miniature bearings can be used for medical and dental applications, office products, watches, computers, telecommunications, home entertainment, home electronics, automotive, and industrial markets.

They are specifically designed to reduce friction between moving parts in various applications that are subject to a limited amount of space. In addition, they are ideal for their minimal service requirements.

Miniature bearings are supplied in a wide range of types and designs. They are robust, and capable of handling light to moderate radial and thrust loads. These bearings are quiet-running, and typically available in stainless steel, with seals or shields, and various lubricant options.

How Small is Small?

Typically, miniature ball bearings will be smaller than an inch or two. But, the smallest? Capable of high speed rotation of more than 5,000 rpm, this ultra-small ball bearing is teeny-tiny.

It has an outside diameter of 1.50 millimeters, inside diameter of just 0.50 millimeters, and width of 0.65 millimeters. They are manufactured in stainless steel, and contain six balls with a 0.25mm diameter.

Minebea Co., Ltd., NMB’s parent company, is the producer of this specific miniature bearing. There are other companies who are looking to maximize the miniature bearing market as well, such as NSK Micro Precision Co., Ltd.

NSK Micro Precision Co., Ltd. (ISC), have manufactured a deep groove ball bearing with an outer diameter of only 2.00 mm, and bore diameter of 0.60 mm.

Both companies seek to produce even smaller diameters and thinner widths in their miniature bearings, and maintain equivalent or even better accuracy and performance compared with their conventional bearings.

Next week, we’ll take a look at how the world’s largest ball bearings work, and what they are used for. Can you guess how many times larger they are than these mini-bearings?

Timken’s New UC-Series Ball Bearing Housed Unit Line

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Timken is a leading manufacturer of bearings and other machine parts on the market today.

Known for its quality products, Timken ended with $3.1 billion in sales in 2014 (Source:, this is because they take care to regularly apply their vast knowledge of metallurgy across today’s broad spectrum of bearings, as well as related systems, in order to improve equipment reliability and efficiency.

In this post, we’ll put the spotlight on Timken, and the new housed product line they rolled out earlier this year:

The UC Series Ball Bearing Housed Unit Line

Timken came out with this new housed unit line in response to market demand for standard-duty metric and imperial ball bearing housed units. Together with the new UC series, Timken now offers its international customers a wide range of ready-to-go units, complete with five housed designs.

Housed units are useful in that they provide enhanced bearing protection in a multitude of harsh conditions. Timken’s housed units feature powerful sealing options, helping to enhance bearing protection in debris-filled, contaminated, or high-moisture environments.

The pressures to reduce build times and costs have led to greater integration of component parts in all areas of manufacturing. By providing units that are pre-assembled, ready to bolt into place, designers can easily and economically solve specific bearing problems.

The UC series ball bearing housed units are offered in an extensive range of sizes – for shafts from 12 mm to 90 mm. The most common industry-used sizes are in stock to best accommodate immediate delivery needs. Housed units are beneficial specifically for bearings with spherical outer rings, where outer ring rotation is minimized with the help of precision-machined cast-iron housings.

The new product line features wide inner ring ball bearings, a set screw locking design, bonded seals with a steel flinger, and precision-made cast-iron housings. They are designed for normal operating conditions, between −20° C and 100° C.

Manufactured to rigorous testing and high quality standards, these highly versatile units are high-strength and suited for most industrial applications.

Industries and Applications for these new housed units (Source

  • Materials Handling
  • Food and Beverage Machines
  • Agriculture
  • Packaging
  • Industrial Fans/Blowers
  • Glass Making
  • Brick Making
  • Paper and Printing