Selection of bearing type

Each bearing type displays characteristic properties, based on its design, which makes it more, or less, appropriate for a given application. For example, deep groove ball bearings can accommodate moderate radial loads as well as axial loads. They have low friction and can be produced with high precision and in quiet running variants. Therefore they are preferred for small and medium-sized electric motors.
Spherical and toroidal roller bearings can carry very heavy loads and are self-aligning. These properties make them popular for example for heavy engineering applications, where there are heavy loads, shaft deflections and misalignments.
In many cases, however, several factors have to be considered and weighted against each other when selecting a bearing type, so that no general rules can be given.
The information provided here should serve to indicate which are the most important factors to be considered when selecting a standard bearing type and thus facilitate an appropriate choice
  • available space
  • loads
  • misalignment
  • precision
  • speed
  • quiet running
  • stiffness
  • axial displacement
  • mounting and dismounting
  • integral seals.
A comprehensive overview of the standard bearing types, their design characteristics and their suitability for the demands placed on a given application can be found in the matrix.
Detailed information on the individual bearing types, including their characteristics and the available designs, can be found in the sections dealing with individual bearing types. Bearing types that are not included in the matrix are generally only used for a few well-defined applications.
The matrix permits only a relatively superficial classification of bearing types. The limited number of symbols does not allow an exact differentiation and some properties do not depend solely on bearing design. For example, the stiffness of an arrangement incorporating angular contact ball bearings or tapered roller bearings also depends on the applied preload and the operating speed which is influenced by the precision of the bearing and its associated components as well as by the cage design. In spite of its limitations, the matrix should enable an appropriate choice of bearing type to be made. It should also be considered that the total cost of a bearing arrangement and inventory considerations could also influence the final choice.
Other important criteria to be observed when designing a bearing arrangement including load carrying capacity and life, friction, permissible speeds, bearing internal clearance or preload, lubrication and sealing are dealt with in depth in separate sections of this catalogue.