Tapered roller bearings are a unique component of mechanical applications. Most bearings can handle either axial loads or radial loads. What makes tapered bearings unique is that they can be paired to handle radial loads and axial loads.
Tapered roller bearings have inner ring raceways and outer ring raceways. The rollers are angled and arranged between the two raceways. These angled rollers then meet at the axis of the bearing. This allows them to handle large loads in both directions. The single row tapered bearing can only handle loads in one direction, but as noted can be paired to handle the radial forces and axial forces simultaneously. They typically have this configuration in automotive applications where these types of loads are necessary.
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What Are the Advantages of Tapered Roller Bearings?
Tapered roller bearings are versatile and can be configured for a variety of circumstances and requirements. They can be installed to handle axial and radial loads or only axial loads. If configured for both axial and radial loads they are configured in paired adjacent rows. Single rows of tapered roller bearings can only handle one direction. Tapered roller bearings are able to handle both thrust and radial loads depending on how they are configured, the components used, and the angle of the roller. This versatility gives them the ability to be used in a variety of industries. Tapered roller bearings are used in automotive wheel bearings, engines, axles, and gearboxes. They are used in the heavy equipment used in agricultural shafts and lineshafts. They can be used in helicopter transmissions and in aircraft fuel pumps.
The components of the tapered roller bearing you use depends on its purpose and particular application. The available components are the rollers, cages, and seals. The bearings themselves can be configured in up to four rows if needed.
Tandem bearings are used when a large bearing diameter cannot be used. Tandem bearings have two rows of rollers that are placed next to each other. They have the same load-bearing orientation.
A Double cup bearing features an outer and inner raceway. In this configuration, the rollers are positioned so their apexes are facing each other. The outer raceway is a single-piece construction with two grooves. The inner raceway uses separate cones that are divided by spacers.
Double cone-bearing configurations where the rollers extend away from each other. Unlike the double cup configuration, the double cone has a single-construction inner raceway and the outer raceway is two pieces separated by a spacer and some additional hardware.
Lastly, there are spacer-assembled double-row bearings. This configuration refers to any two single-row bearings as long as they have been compiled into a single assembly by using spacers and hardware.
Maintenance and Lifespan
As with anything mechanical, the better it is maintained the longer it lasts. When these bearings have material that starts flaking, they must be replaced. Friction and temperature do impact the lifespan. However, lubricating according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and using the correct lubricant for the particular application will help to prolong the lifespan.