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UBC Bearings of America Limited

basic BEARING knowledge

What is a Bearing Used for?

Designed to:
l Reduce friction l Carry loads l Guide moving parts

Rolling and Sliding Friction

Component parts of a ball bearing

Outer ring

Rolling elements

Inner ring

Seal and Shield Variations


Low-friction seals


-Z and -2Z

-RZ and -2RZ

-RS and -2RS

Contaminant exclusion

Silent running

Grease retention

Speed capability

Characteristics of Different Seals

Application Need Low friction torque High speed ability Grease retention Dust exclusion Water exclusion Low/high operating temperature Shield 2Z +++ +++ + + Depends on: Grease 2RZ ++(+) ++(+) ++ ++ Depends on: Grease Rubber mix Poor Seal 2RS +++ +++ +

+++ Excellent

++ Good

+ Fair

Storage Requirements

Roller and Ball Raceway Contact

Axial and Radial load capability

Radial load


Combined load

Axial load


Roller Types

Spherical roller (symmetrical)

Spherical roller (asymmetrical)

Cylindrical roller Needle roller

Taper roller

Ball and Roller Bearing Ranges + Roller bearings Ball bearings

Deep groove Angular contact Self-aligning Cylindrical Taper Spherical

Load Capabilities
Load carrying capacity is expressed as the basic dynamic load rating

Ball Bearing Capabilities

Deep groove Angular contact Self-aligning

Radial load carrying capacity

Axial load carrying capacity

Speed capability

Accommodates misalignment

Function of the Cage


Prevent immediate contact between rolling elements to minimize friction and heat generation
Guide the rolling elements Provide space for lubricant Retain the rolling elements when bearings of separable design are mounted or dismounted

l l l

Cage Variants

Nylon cage

Steel cage

Solid brass cage

Nylon Cages

+ +
+ +

Lightweight High elasticity

Good sliding properties

Good marginal lubrication properties

Operating temperature < +120 C

Steel Cages

+ +

Lightweight High strength No operating temperature limit High vibration and acceleration resistance Sensitive to poor lubrication

Solid Brass Cages

+ + +

Very high strength Very high vibration and acceleration resistance

Suitable for very high speed in connection with circulating oil

Relatively (very) expensive

Internal Clearances
Radial clearance

Axial clearance

The bearing internal clearance is defined as the total distance through which one bearing ring can be moved relative to the other under zero measuring load.

Why Internal clearance?

In order to fit a bearing tightly on a shaft, it is necessary that the shaft is slightly larger than the bore of the inner ring. When the bearing is mounted, the inner ring will be expanded and consequently the space available for the rolling elements will be reduced. The reduction in space available for rolling elements when the bearing is mounted is accommodated by the internal clearance.

Why Internal clearance?

Steel will expand with increased temperature. In operation, the temperature of the various parts of a bearing will not remain uniform and resulting in varying degrees of expansion which is compensated by the internal clearance.

Internal Radial Clearance


Reduced radial clearance


Clearance range
C1 Clearance less than C2 C2 Clearance less than Normal C3 Clearance greater than Normal C4 Clearance greater than C3 C5 Clearance greater than C4



The internal clearance required is dependent upon the mounting fit and the operating conditions. In case of doubt, a bearing with greater internal clearance shall always be selected.

Effect of Internal Preload and Clearance on Bearing Life

Relative basic rating life L10, %



Correct Fits

Tolerance range for bearings manufactured to ISO

Bearing Selection Factors

Available space Misalignment




Operating conditions

ISO Standards

International Organization for Standardization

Diameter Series

Relationship: Diameter and Width Series

Diameter Series

Width Series

Height Series

Dimension Series

Diameter Series

Width Series

Bore designation system

Bore diameter
3 . . 9 10 12 15 17 20 25 . . 480 710

Written as
3 . . 9 00 01 02 03 04 05 . . 96 /710

623 . . 629 6200 6201 6202 6203 6204 6205 . . 61896 241/710

Below 10 mm

10 17 mm

20 480 mm

Above 500 mm

How the Designation System Works

Bearing types

Radial bearings, width (B, T)

Thrust bearing, height (H)

Outside diameter (D)

Bearing size d/5 (30 mm bore diameter)

Tapered Bore Suffixes

Suffix K

Taper 1:12

Suffix K30

Taper 1:30

Deep groove ball bearing

Self-aligning ball bearing

Plane thrust ball bearing

Angular contact ball bearing

Spherical roller bearing

Taper roller bearing

Cylindrical roller bearing