AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Are Tapered Roller Bearings?

Bearings are hardware components that are crucial for countless assemblies, serving to both reduce friction between moving parts and constrain motion to set movements. There are many bearing types that one may use, each differing in their characteristics and designs to benefit varying applications. Tapered roller bearings in particular are common rolling element bearings, capable of supporting axial and radial forces. Commonly found within vehicles and their wheels, such bearings are quite important. In this blog, we will discuss the design of tapered roller bearings, allowing you to better understand their use in various applications and settings.

In their most basic form, tapered roller bearings feature an inner and outer ring raceway which are segments of cones. The rollers of the assembly are tapered, allowing for the conical surfaces and roller axes to all meet at a single point on the bearing’s main axis. With such a geometry, the motion of the cones will be coaxial, meaning that there is no sliding movement occurring between the roller’s outside diameter and the raceways themselves. Additionally, the geometry also promotes the formation of a linear contact patch, meaning that higher loads can be carried with ease, surpassing the capabilities of spherical ball bearings. Other benefits include the fact that the tangential speeds of roller surfaces are equal to their raceways along the whole length of the contact patch, deterring differential scrubbing.

Due to the conical shape of the rollers, it is important that they do not pop out during operations. To prevent this, a flange is placed on the inner ring where the large end of the assembly slides, allowing for rollers to be stabilized and restrained. Tapered roller bearings are also separable, coming apart as a cone assembly and a cup. The cone assembly cannot be broken down further, and it consists of the rollers, an inner ring, and a cage. The cup, on the other hand, is the outer ring.  Depending on the bearing, there may be an internal clearance that is made during the mounting process.

Similar to other roller bearing types, the tapered roller bearing requires lubrication for efficient operations. Lubrication is highly beneficial as it allows for friction to be mitigated between rollers and raceways, also assisting in heat and noise minimization. As such bearings are disassembled with ease, they will not often need access holes for supplemental lubrication. Generally, there are three types of lubrication that may be used, each differing in its benefits.

Synthetic oils are optimal for moderate to high RPM operations, and they come in three types. Petroleum-based oils are good for high stress and high speed, while mineral oils benefit high-speed rotations. Silicone-based oils can guard the assembly from high heat, and they are not at risk of corrosion if rubber is present. Nevertheless, such lubrication is only used in low-speed applications. Greases are another option for lubrication which are good for high RPM operation, though they surpass oils at lower speeds. The final type of lubricant is the dry film type, and such lubricants are only used when greases and oils are unable to be applied. This is because they are hard to implement in the bearing, and they create wear flakes during standard operations.

Whether you are using a tapered roller bearing for an automobile, aircraft, or another assembly type, it is important to make various considerations before committing to a purchase. Generally, one should take into account temperatures, speeds, torque, deflection, and other factors that may affect efficiency, service lives, and more. Once you have narrowed down your exact needs, the experts at NSN World can help you secure competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on top quality bearings.

NSN World is a leading supplier of tapered roller bearings and other various component types, presenting customers access to an unrivaled inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find components. With AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B certification and accreditation, we go above and beyond industry standards to guarantee reliable components of the highest caliber every time. If you find particular items on our website that you are interested in, we invite you to fill out and submit an RFQ form so that you may receive a quote for your comparisons in just 15 minutes or less upon receipt of a completed form. Get started today and see how NSN World can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your needs.


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