The thrust bearing is one type of rotary bearings that are known at sustaining extreme load capacity when operating in extremely hostile conditions. The structural design of these bearings enables them to work parallel to the shaft while delivering maximum axial load capacity. There are different varieties of Thrust bearings with different dimensions and configurations as well as performance and precision. However, thrust bearings can be categorized into two major types.

Where are thrust bearings used?

Different varieties of bearings offer different performance and precision as well as load capacity, and that means that each variety has its application. Thrust bearings can be found in a variety of industries such as chemical industries, aerospace, as well as utilities with rollers. Thrust bearings are ideal for agriculture as well as other industries that require extreme load capacity.

What type of materials are used in thrust bearings?

There are different types of materials used in thrust bearings, while the most common materials are ceramic and stainless steel. Normally the cage is fabricated using brass, steel, or polyamide depending on the application and the requirements. In order to enhance the general performance of the bearings, special lubricants are used and sometimes special seal, shields, and coatings to protect the bearings from humidity and dust.

What are the types of thrust bearings?

There are two main types of thrust bearings which are the roller thrust and thrust bearings. These two different types are used in different equipment and applications as they differ in durability, performance, load capacity carrying as well as precision. Ball Thrust Bearings are known for delivering extreme performance but they offer lesser axial load as compared to the roller bearings. While the roller thrust bearings are normally used in equipment and applications that require extreme load-carrying capacity.

Thrust Ball Bearings

There is a special type of thrust bearing that comes with balls where these balls are used in separating the balls known as washers due to their design and shape. A cage is responsible for holding the ball bearing by ensuring that they maintain the precise position between the raceways. This type is capable of functioning in extreme speed. Due to its limitations caused by the nature of its design, these bearings work in pairs so as to prevent any dislocation during the mounting process. According to the application and its requirements, the washer size may differ. Normally, these thrust bearings can be found in two major designs, where the first design consists of a grove race that prevents friction between the bearings while the other has no groove race and this increases its axial load capacity.

Thrust Roller Bearings

This kind of Thrust Bearing is identical to the ball thrust bearings when it comes to the external design. However, they have a slight difference when it comes to internal design and use as well as its features. Roller thrust bearings tend to have extreme load capacity but they cannot super pass the ball thrust bearings. But there is a possibility of increasing the performance of roller thrust bearing by using special lubricants. Just like thrust ball bearings, thrust bearings consist of two washers, rollers as well as the cage for holding rollers in place. These are also used in pairs.


Cylindrical roller bearings have been designed in such a way that they can sustain radial load at extreme performance as well as speed. Due to their unique design, these are among the ideal options when it comes to handling multiple radial loads even though their performance depends on several factors. In order to deliver maximum performance from these bearings, you have to optimize their cost, performance, weight, durability, and load capacity. Due to the fact that these bearings are installed for a long lifespan, you must select the most suitable design in accordance with your application needs.

The design

Cylindrical roller bearings consist of two rings which are the inner and outer rings that are isolated from each other using a set of cylinders but are responsible for supporting the rings as well as reducing frictional force. The cylinders are supported by the cage or ring that is connected either using the inner or outer ring depending on the design. However, the number of rollers or cylinders used may differ and the number of rollers or cylinders in direct propositional to the overall performance of the bearing.

Where are cylindrical roller bearings used?

Cylindrical roller bearings are among the essential components of every machine that consists of rotating parts. You will find cylindrical roller bearings in electrical motors, the papermaking industry, motorcycles, railways, pumps, gearboxes as well as turbines. These bearings have limitless uses as they offer extreme performance and durability even when exposed to extremely harsh conditions.

Material and structure of cylindrical bearings

These bearings are manufactured using different types of material in accordance with the nature of the application and use. However, alloy steel is the most commonly used material when manufacturing cylindrical bearings, as they are known for offering maximum durability to rings, rollers as well as the roller cage. In order to acquire extreme performance with high acceleration as well as speed while sustaining radial-axial load, these bearings are manufactured using pressed steel. In some cases, some bearings come with polyamide cages.

Designs and models

Normally, there are three designs when it comes to cylindrical roller bearings which are single row cylindrical roller bearings, double row cylindrical roller bearings as well as multi-row cylindrical roller bearings. These names reflect their designs.

The single-row bearings

These consist of a single set of inner as well as outer rings together with a single set of roller and cage. Single-row bearings have sub-categories and they differ in cage and roller placement.

The double row bearings

These are identical to single-row bearings; however, these consist of two sets of inner as well as outer rings accompanied with sets rollers and a cage. This type is normally used in machines or applications that need extreme precision to increase augmented strength, accuracy as well as carrying capacity.

The multi-row bearings

These are known to offer extreme carrying capacity at minimal performance.


Thin section bearings differ in many ways from any other type of ball bearings due to their compact size as well as their exterior diameter. Their unique design as well as structure allow the bearings to work in applications that have limited space and weight. However, despite their small sizes, these bearings are known for delivering extreme performance and accuracy.

The structural design

The bearings are specifically designed with minimum size and diameter aiming at working in application and equipment that have a space issue. Thin bearings have proved to be extremely effective in harsh environments. Due to their small diameter and size, these bearings must extremely precise so as to perform better and that is the reason why manufacturers make sure that they polish raceways so as to reduce friction and vibration while the ball bearings are in operation. The polish is responsible for a smooth surface that operates with the help of extreme quality ball bearings which are frictionlessly delivering extreme performance.

Materials used

Thin section bearings are designed using different types of materials, however stainless steel is one of the commonly used material. Besides, chrome steel is also used as it offers durability and strength making it one of the ideal options. Each of the materials has its advantages and disadvantages whereas stainless steel can sustain high temperatures and can sustain temperatures changes. Besides, it is resistant to oxidation hence cannot rust.

However, chrome steel is not as good as stainless steel when it comes to temperature capabilities, even though it has a protective coating. This means that the choice of the material to be used depends on the nature of the application and whether the condition is corrosive or non-corrosive.

Types and uses of thin section bearings

These bearings are not ideal for heavy-duty machinery and applications have they have a lower load-carrying capacity. However, these bearings come in different diameters and sizes in accordance with the requirements. These bearings are commonly used throughout a variety of industries such as in solar panels, robotics, radars, microwave devices, guidance systems & satellites, measuring systems, aerospace industry, as well as in astronomy devices such as telescopes. Besides, you will find them in packing equipment, textile machinery, glassware equipment, optical scanning equipment, textile machinery, food processing industry, etc.

Advantages of thin section bearings

Because these bearings come with unique structure and design, they have some ideal benefits that you cannot find in other bearing types or models.

  1. Reduction of vibration

These bearings are specifically designed and fabricated with extreme precision and this is the reason why they have low vibration that enables them to operate better and efficiently.

  • Friction reduction

These bearings come with high-quality ball bearings and polished raceways which help in reducing friction. Besides, they are able to deliver high performance even when exposed to extreme environments.

  • Prolonged lifespan

Thin bearings are known to work for a long period of time without being replaced. This is due to their high-quality components.


SKF is one of the leading companies that manufacture bearings. SKF operates in 32 countries delivering high-quality engineering products that are manufactured throughout their 140 sites. SKF’s main quarters are located in Sweden and specifically focusses on innovation aiming at delivering different products to meet customers’ requirements. For over 100 years, the company has been manufacturing and innovating products for their customers and clients.

However, SKF is well known for its high-quality bearings and that is what makes it so popular around the globe. SKF bearings offer high performance, durability, load carrying capacity, reliability, and sustainability. The bearings come in different models and versions offering the clients a number of options depending on the requirements. SKF offers different standards and classes with variations in their products. In this article, we will be diving deep into detail about the SKF bearings.

Applications of SKF bearings

SKF bearings are ideal components in almost every modern equipment and this means the applications of these bearings are unlimited. They can be found in different industries such as the mining industry, wind, and energy industry, automation industry, construction industry, medical and healthcare industry, agriculture industry, automation industry, and solar energy industry.

As they provide enhanced machine uptime, minimal maintenance, high performance, more productivity, extreme precision, efficiency while reducing the overall system cost, they are utilized in industries where heavy machinery operates with minimal or no downtime.

SKF Research and Development

SKF is well known for its highly trained staff especially when it comes to manufacturing, research as well as development departments. Just as we have previously mentioned, innovation is the main focus of SKF and the company is always working hard to come up with new and better methods of inventing and enhancing products. Their different innovations and improvement in the mechanical field have led to better machines that offer precision and high performance. SKF has been working with different colleges and universities throughout the world such as Tsinghua University in China, Imperial College London as well as Technology University in Lulea.

SKF Classification

SKF has hundreds of different types of ball and roller bearings. To improve convenience, SKF has divided its products based on performance.

The SKF standard class

These are among the most popular ones due to their high quality and performance. You can find this type of bearings in almost every light machinery, however, they are not used in heavyweight machinery.

The SKF Explorer class

These bearings are known for being smooth and offer more load-carrying capacity. They have a longer lifespan as well as frictionless motion and this helps in reducing the maintenance cost while increasing the system’s general performance.

The SKF Energy efficient class

Just like how the name goes, this focuses mainly on machine efficiency as well as its overall machine or system’s performance as it reduces the friction by 30% compared to the other classes. However, as compared to other identical products from other manufacturers, this class is known for delivering improved results.

The SKF Super-precision class

This class consists of bearings that are known for offering high precision with a long lifespan.


You will find spindle bearings in a variety of machines that require extreme accuracy while in operation. These bearings are designed in a single row that consists of double raceways in the inner and outer ring. These bearings come in 15 or 25-degree angular contact depending on the nature of the application. Just like any other ball bearing, these bearing have a still cage that is responsible for keeping the balls within the ball housing.

Spindle bearing design

Spindle bearings come with either 15 or 25-degree angular contact and the general load-carrying capacity of these bearings is directly proportional to the change in the angle. Due to the limitation in their structure design, these bearings are used in pairs so as to adjust to the axial load. The bearings are known for offering extreme axial and radial load handing capacities due to the nature of their rigid design and the method used in fabricating them.

Fabrication and structure

As we have previously mentioned, these bearings are found in 15 or 25-degree angular contact whereas both of these offer different results and that is why they are used in different machines and applications. The 15-degree angular contact offers more dial capacity as well as performance while the 25-degree angular contact offers better axial performance as well as load-carrying capacity.

These bearings come in either separable or inseparable components with identical specifications as well as applications. The separable design consists of a ball bearing holding cage that is responsible for maintaining them in position. This makes it possible to dismantle the outer ring from the apparatus. The inseparable design does not allow this.

Types of materials used in the manufacturing of spindle bearings

Spindle bearings are manufactured using different materials in accordance with the nature of the application and the requirements. Normally, these bearings are fabricated from resistant steel due to its strength while the balls are manufactured using ceramic or steel-based materials. In order to ensure high speed, the manufacturer opts for solid plastic to support the device and this is responsible for reducing friction hence offering extreme performance.

Uses of spindle bearings

Due to the fact that spindle bearings come in two different varieties which are open spindle bearings as well as closed spindle bearings, these offer different load-carrying capacities, rigidity, performance as well as the general specification. These bearings are utilized in a different range of machines and applications. They can be found in agricultural equipment, mining equipment, drilling equipment, automation industry, etc.

Models and types of spindle bearings

These bearings come into two major types with different design, features as well as specifications. These are:

  1. Open spindle bearings

These have larger ball bearings and are specifically designed to deliver high performance where the exterior ring consists of a single shoulder. This type of bearings is known for offering high load carrying capacity due to the nature of their design.

  • Closed spindle bearings

When it comes to dimensions, these are identical in size just like their counterpart but their interior design differs from the other. Closed spindle bearings consist of tiny bearings hence reducing the load-carrying capacity and hence increasing the overall lifespan of the bearing due to the improved axial performance as well as rigidity.


Flange bearings are found in different varieties which are designed so as to meet particular application requirements and conditions. Due to their variations, these come in different design, load capacities, cages as well as features and performance. These bearings are designed in a way that they mount ball bearing offering extreme precision as well as performance. Due to the fact that these bearings are extremely sturdy, resistant to dirt and water, and this is what makes them suitable for offering mounting for different apparatuses that have rotating parts or linear motion.

Structure design

Despite the fact that there are different varieties, variations, and models of flange bearings, but they all have two primary structures which are the horizontal and vertical mounting. These are sometimes referred to as Insert Bearings and Flange Mounted Bearings. Both of the two offer different load carrying capacity, applications as well as performance.

Uses of flange bearings

These bearings are normally used in different machines and industries such as machine construction, automation, food industry, agricultural machines, conveyors, etc.

Different types of bearings

Flange bearings come in four major types and each of these types has a unique design, application, function, and performance. The bearings offer rotary motions with minimal friction.

 The most popular type of bearing used is Plain Bearing which is sometimes referred to as Journal bearing. This offers frictionless motion that is ideal for linear applications.

The second type is the needle roller bearings which are ideal for handling radial motion while maintaining a low profile. These are almost identical to cylinder roller bearing but have a smaller diameter. Roller bearing comes with rolling components that are between the outer and inner ring. Depending on the design and the nature of the intended application, this could be a spherical ball or cylinder.

Materials used

Flange bearings are manufactured from different varieties of materials where the most commonly used material is cast iron. Some manufacturers also use plastic so as to reduce maintenance costs while maintaining performance and load-carrying capacity. Cast iron has greater capabilities for sustaining extreme temperatures while offering durability as well as stability. Besides, they are more cost-efficient as compared to other flange metal bearings.

In some situations, flange bearings are fabricated from pressed steel that offers low performance, however offer high stability as well as durability even when exposed to harsh conditions.

Configurations and mounting

The mounting as well as the configuration of flange bearing define the nature of the mounting shape of these devices that is responsible for holding the bearing. Besides, it also defines the number of holes needed to secure it. Although they may differ and could be fabricated in accordance with the application, the commonly used configurations are 2, 3 as well as 4 bolt flange bearings.

The 2-bolt bearings

These are designed in a diamond shape like, have a single mounting hole upon each end.

The 3-bolt bearing

These are designed in a circular shape and consists of three mounting holes located at equal distances from each other.

The 4 bolt bearings

These are designed in a square-like shape having a single mounting hole upon each side or corner according to the intended application or requirements.


Pillow block bearings are among the most popular bearings due to their extremely calculated and balanced structural design that has proved its efficiency in the industry for some time. Pillow bearings have a simple design with no complication during the installations while delivering extreme performance as well as durability. The bearings are sometimes referred to as Plummer blocks even though there is a slight difference between the two. Pillow block bearings are commonly installed in less industrialized applications while the Plummer blocks are ideal for extreme performance where the high capacity load is needed.

Structural design

These bearings are normally used in supporting and enhancing the rotating shaft, and this is the reason why they are fabricated from cast iron or cast steel as these two materials are known for their strength and durability. In some situations, these bearings can be found in a single piece while in other cases can be found in split able pieces.  the housing (mounting surface) is used in mounting the entire apparatus using a plain surface while the other elements offer support for the shaft as well as the housing surface.

These bearings operate effectively and maintain the exterior ring of bearings in a stationary mode while ensuring that there is moveable space for the interior ring. One of the advantages of these bearings is that they do not need any special skills to install them due to the nature of their design. This makes it easier for users to install them without any trouble.

Types of pillow block bearings

As we have previously mentioned, pillow block bearings differ from Plummer block bearings due to their applications. Pillow block bearings are commonly used in construction, mining as well as heavy manufacturing. Split bearings enable the shaft to split offering different advantages such as easy replacement.

Materials used in manufacturing

Pillow block bearings are normally fabricated from aluminum, hence allowing them to sustain extreme load-carrying capacity as well as heat conductivity. However, pressed steel is also used for low load sustaining applications but also offer extreme performance with greater precision. Stainless steel is commonly used due to its corrosive capabilities.

Types of bearings

These bearings come in different variations depending on the requirements and the nature of applications. These include:

  1. The plain bearings

These are commonly used in linear applications for enhancing frictionless motion that lead to high performance. These bearings are normally fabricated from bronze, plastic, or metal alloy in accordance with the requirements. However, metal and bronze bearings require proper lubrication to ensure effectiveness.

These are commonly used in extreme load sustaining capacity with extreme performance due to their frictionless motion. This is made possible by using the set of balls that is between the outer and ringer ring. These balls are preventing them from getting into contact using a rib or cage that also plays a major role in ensuring that the balls maintain their proper position.

These are ideal for rotary motion applications and they operate by using cylinders as well as rollers that are in between the internal and external rings. Roller bearings come in different variations with different features, applications as well as structure.

These are identical to the roller bearings even though they use a tiny cylinder that resembles the rollers that work to spate the outer and inner rings.


Angular contact ball bearings can be found in numerous dimensions, however, they can be grouped into two categories. These bearings are used in a variety of industries as well as equipment. These include the following:

Used in the agricultural industry

The agricultural industry uses heavy equipment and machinery. These machines and equipment need angular contact ball bearings as they are known for offering extreme performance as well as axial and radial load capabilities that make them the best option when it comes to agricultural machines.

Used in the automobile industry

Due to the fact that angular bearings are designed in single and double row configurations, where both of these two designs offer a different level of performance, precisions as well as capabilities. These criteria are what make these bearings idle and common in the automobile industry as they are durable and can sustain harsh conditions.

Different utility applications of angular contact ball bearings

Angular contact ball bearings offer greater precision and that is the reason why they are used throughout different industries as well as utilities. This is due to the fact that they offer high performance as well as precision operating for a long period of time.


Angular contact ball bearings have balls, inner and exterior rings, as well as a cage that is responsible for holding the balls at a particular angle. Due to the geometry and angle of the rings as well as the shoulders, these bearings offer greater load sustainability. There are many features and options available depending on the nature of the applications and requirements. Among these options include special lubricants, housing/cage materials that play a big role in enhancing the lifespan and performance of the bearings. Besides, there are different coatings that are used in improving the bearings.


Angular contact ball bearings come in a variety of designs used in different equipment as well as applications. However, these devices are specifically designed to sustain extreme radial and axial load capabilities for a long period of time. There are major varieties of angular contact ball bearings which are the single row bearings, double row bearings as well as the four-point contact ball bearings. All these differ in their structure and design and have different applications as well as features. Single-row bearings are normally used for delivering extreme thrust within a single direction while the double row-bearing offer thrust in both directions.