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Bearing terminology

To better understand frequently used bearing terms, definitions are provided below and explained with the help of drawings. A detailed collection of bearing specific terms and definitions can be found in ISO 5593:1997: Rolling bearings - Vocabulary.
Bearing arrangement (fig 1)
  1. Cylindrical roller bearing
  2. Four-point contact ball bearing
  3. Housing
  4. Shaft
  5. Shaft abutment shoulder
  6. Shaft diameter
  7. Locking plate
  8. Radial shaft seal
  9. Distance ring
  10. Housing bore diameter
  11. Housing bore
  12. Housing cover
  13. Snap ring
Following terminology is used for the different parts of a rolling bearing.
Radial bearings (fig 2 / fig 3)
  1. Inner ring
  2. Outer ring
  3. Rolling element: ball, cylindrical roller, needle roller, tapered roller, spherical roller
  4. Cage
  5. Capping device
    Seal – made of elastomer, contact (shown in figure) or non-contact
    Shield – made of sheet steel, non-contact
  6. Outer ring outside diameter
  7. Inner ring bore
  8. Inner ring shoulder diameter
  9. Outer ring shoulder diameter
  10. Snap ring groove
  11. Snap ring
  12. Outer ring side face
  13. Seal anchorage groove
  14. Outer ring raceway
  15. Inner ring raceway
  16. Sealing groove
  17. Inner ring side face
  18. Chamfer
  19. Mean bearing diameter
  20. Total bearing width
  21. Guiding flange
  22. Retaining flange
  23. Contact angle

    Thrust bearings (fig 4)

  24. Shaft washer
  25. Rolling element and cage assembly
  26. Housing washer
  27. Housing washer with sphered seat surface
  28. Sphered seat washer
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