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What are Thrust Bearings

Author: Hou

Sep. 15, 2022

84 0 0

Tags: Mechanical Parts & Fabrication Services

A thrust bearing, a type of rotary bearing, rotates between parts reducing friction and is designed to support an axial load (mostly in low-speed applications). It is the axial bearing that permits rotation between parts. 

The functions are to prevent the shaft from drifting in the axial direction and to transfer thrust loads applied on the shaft.


What are Thrust Bearings


Thrust bearings are generally seated against a raised thrust collar around the shaft. The thrust collar allows the axial load to be transferred from the shaft to the bearing. Thrust bearings are typically used in pairs on each side of the thrust collar.

Depending on the usage or application, there are many types to choose from. 


General types:

1. Flat land bearing - made of a single flat disc with grooves and no moving parts 

2. Tilting pad bearing - consists of moveable metal plates called thrust shoes


Types of Thrust Bearings that Support Axial Load

Thrust bearings support a force applied in the same direction as the shaft. They can be categorized into two major types: Thrust ball bearing and Thrust roller bearing. The thrust ball bearings are used to deliver high performance, while the thrust roller bearings are typically used in applications where high load-carrying capacity is needed.

● Thrust ball bearing - used in low thrust applications where there is little axial load. They are available in two designs: single direction and double direction. 

● Cylindrical thrust roller bearing - give good carrying capacity.

● Tapered thrust roller bearing - most commonly used in automotive applications. They can support greater thrust loads than the ball type due to the larger contact area. They are designed to accommodate combined loads, i.e., simultaneously acting radial and axial loads.

● Spherical thrust roller bearing - Spherical roller thrust bearings offer the highest load rating density of all thrust bearings.


Four Thrust Bearings for Every Need

1. Oil-Embedded - used for applications with frequent starts and stops, the oil lubricates the bearing during startup

2. Dry-Running - operate with less friction and can work in high-temperature environments

3. Food-Grade - made of FDA listed materials for use in food applications

4. Corrosion-Resistant - high strength makes them suitable in marine and mining applications


Material Used in Thrust Bearings

The most common materials used to produce thrust bearings are stainless steel and ceramic. The cage is made of brass or steel, depending on the application.

There are various types of thrust bearings, each with its strength. The unique bearings deliver different performance and load capacity.

Thrust ball bearings are used in industries such as aerospace, chemical industry and utilities. Thrust roller bearings are suitable for agriculture and other sectors that require high-load capacity.  

Thrust bearings are also commonly used in automotive and marine applications. They are used in cars because the forward gears in modern car gearboxes use helical gears, which, while aiding in smoothness and noise reduction, cause axial forces that need to be dealt with.


Benefits to Thrust Bearings

● They offer high reliability

● Provide high load capacity in harsh environments

● Simple mounting - the shaft and housing washers can be mounted separately

● Provide a wide assortment

● Availability


Roller thrust bearings have higher load carrying capacities than ball thrust bearings. The higher speed applications require oil lubrication.

For more information about thrust bearings, feel free to contact us.




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