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Addressing Moment Loads with Thin Section Bearings

Addressing Moment Loads with Thin Section Bearings

July 22, 2020

When selecting bearings for an application, it’s always important to consider the different types of loads your parts will encounter during use. There are three main types of loads to contemplate:

  • Radial
  • Axial (also known as thrust)
  • Moment

While radial and axial loads are perpendicular and parallel forces to the center axis of an object respectively, moment load is applied along the rotational axis. As such, moment loads are forces that can rotate the rings of your bearing if you don’t address them.

How Do Moment Loads Occur?

There are a few common scenarios that can lead to moment loads. If a design only has a single bearing, radial loads outside the center of the bearing ball will create a moment load. For example, a shaft with a bearing at the base can experience moment loads simply from the weight of the extending shaft. Certain systems may also add intermittent loads if additional weight is occasionally placed against the opposite end of the shaft.

While some systems can address moment loads with multiple bearings, others do not have that option due to either the design itself or space limitations. In these occasions, you’ll need to invest in bearings that can accommodate constant and intermittent moment loads to assure proper performance.

Which Thin Section Bearings are Best for Moment Loads?

Space limitations can make the process of addressing moment loads difficult, which is why thin section bearings can be a great solution. There are three different types of thin section bearings to consider:

  • Type A – Angular contact thin section bearings
  • Type C – Radial ball thin section bearings
  • Type X – Four-point contact thin section bearings

If you’re planning to use a single bearing to account for moment loads, four-point contact thin section bearings offer the best load bearing capabilities. These bearings are made with a gothic archway that creates four points of contact between the balls in the bearing and the raceway. This design provides ample moment loading in a single, small package, making it a go-to option in many situations.

If you only need to accommodate light or moderate moment loads, radial ball thin section bearings are also a suitable choice – especially if you’re dealing with ample radial loads as well.

In general, Type A is not a great option for moment loads if you plan to use a single bearing. However, duplex Type A pairs are very capable of handling extreme moment loads if you’re less concerned about bearing size.

Invest in the Right Thin Section Bearings for Your Loading Needs

Every application offers specific challenges. Whether you’re dealing with moment loads, space constraints, or some other issue, SSB can help you identify a bearing solution tailored to your needs. Use our online product builder to select the parts you need or contact us today to talk to our experts about a custom thin section bearing solution for your application.

Advantages of Thin Section Turntable Bearings

Advantages of Thin Section Turntable Bearings

June 18, 2020

Every type of bearing can play a key role in specific situations. For some applications, thin section turntable bearings are the perfect parts for your system. As with each style, thin section turntable bearings offer some distinct benefits that can address key design issues. Let’s break down some reasons why it can make sense to turn to turntable bearings.

Turntable Mounting Capabilities

One of the most notable visual aspects of turntable bearings are the holes that run through both the inner and outer rings. Of course, those holes are there for more than just aesthetic purposes – they allow for easy mounting directly to a seating surface instead of a shaft or in a housing. This design gives turntable bearings a lazy Susan-like effect that can open your systems up to new possibilities.

Space Constraints

Turntable bearings are sometimes referred to as slewing ring bearings, but the thin section equivalent of these parts is significantly smaller than their slewing ring counterparts. While more compact in size and lighter in weight, thin section turntable bearings don’t lack in performance. That’s a major advantage for any applications that need to save on space or reduce weight, such as:

  • X-ray equipment
  • Antenna mounts
  • Bottling equipment
  • Food processing equipment
  • Instrument mounts
  • Medical equipment
  • Military equipment
  • Oil well equipment

Load Acceptance

While small in size, thin section turntable bearings offer ample load-carrying capacity in certain situations. A great example of this would be a Thin Section Turntable X-Type 4-Point Contact Bearing used at the base of a robotic arm. If the arm needs to pick up items, that would create a moment load for a bearing at the base of the shaft. The gothic archway of a turntable thin section bearing makes it capable of handling extreme moment loads.

In addition to moment loads, X-Type turntable bearings are excellent at handling reversing loads and good at dealing with axial/thrust loads. Turntable bearings do struggle with radial and combined loads, so you may need to find an additional solution to address those concerns if they are present in your system.

Are Thin Section Turntable Bearings Right for Your Systems?

If the benefits listed above apply to your applications, it may be time to invest in thin section turntable bearings. However, it’s not always easy to figure out which specific parts are perfect for your needs. Our experts can work with you to discuss your designs and identify a bearing solution that address your performance needs, whether that calls for a standard part or a customized bearing optimized for your systems.

Ready to invest in the right thin section bearings for your applications? Use our online product builder to select the parts you need or contact us today to talk to our experts about your bearing needs.

Thin Section Bearing Selection: Choosing Between A-Type, C-Type, and X-Type Bearings

Thin Section Bearing Selection: Choosing Between A-Type, C-Type, and X-Type Bearings

February 21, 2020

Thin section bearings are used in a wide variety of applications, and each of those applications have specific requirements. These potential differences make some thin section bearing products a better option than others. When it comes to thin section bearings, there are three different types to consider:

  • Type A
  • Type C
  • Type X

Which style is right for your needs? That depends on your application and the types of loads that your thin section bearings will need to manage.

Type A – Angular Contact Thin Section Bearings

Angular contact-type thin section bearings are designed to thrive in demanding applications with high axial loads. While single A-type thin section bearings typically wouldn’t be recommended to support moment or reverse axial loads, duplex pairs can more than easily accommodate such loads.

Load Capabilities

  • Radial – Good
  • Axial – Excellent
  • Moment – Poor for single bearings, excellent for paired bearings
  • Reversing axial – Poor for single bearings, excellent for paired bearings
  • Combined radial thrust – Good

Type C – Radial Ball Thin Section Bearings

As you may expect, radial ball-type thin section bearings are a go-to solution for applications with high, demanding radial loads. These parts can also do a good job with slight to modest loads for other load types, although you’ll want to look elsewhere for any designs that call for extreme moment or reversing axial loads.

Load Capabilities

  • Radial – Excellent
  • Axial – Good
  • Moment – Good (for light to moderate loads)
  • Reversing axial – Good (for light to moderate loads)
  • Combined radial thrust – Good

Type X – Four-Point Contact Thin Section Bearings

Unlike Type A and Type C thin section bearings, the Type X four-point contact thin section bearings are made with a gothic archway that creates four points of contact between the balls in the bearing and the raceway. This design makes this type of bearing an excellent choice for applications that need ample moment or reversing axial loading in a small package. However, it does leave Type X parts less capable of handling various radial loads.

Load Capabilities

  • Radial – Poor
  • Axial – Good
  • Moment – Excellent
  • Reversing axial – Excellent
  • Combined radial thrust – Poor

Find the Right Bearing Type for Your Applications

The right part can make all the difference in the world. Not only can the right type handle the proper loads and run efficiently, it’ll also save you from replacing parts earlier than expected. Like using the right thin section bearing lubrication, proper part selection can decrease your odds of bearing failure and costly downtime.

In addition, your options extend beyond managing various loads. Type A, C, and X thin section bearings can also be modified in multiple ways, such as fitting parts with different materials for rings and rolling elements or changing the bore size. Your applications need a solution that’s right for them, so it benefits you to find the right thin section bearings for their specific needs.

Know what you need for your applications? Use our online thin section bearing builder to submit a quote for a part based on your specifications. If you’d rather talk to an expert about your options, contact us today to have one of our team members work with you on a part solution for your performance and budgetary needs.

Material Selection: Different Options for Thin Section Bearings

Material Selection: Different Options for Thin Section Bearings

February 6, 2020

Deciding on the right thin section bearing materials are like choosing what you wear – you need to dress your parts up for the right occasion. For example, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a standard bearing material if it’ll lead to early bearing failure or other issues. Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a premium material if a standard solution can handle your performance needs.

Proper material selection is very important for your thin section bearings. Let’s break down the various material options for these parts and why they may make sense for your needs.

Chrome Steel

Also known as carbon steel, this material is one of the most common options you’ll find for bearings. The 52100 bearing steel is a high carbon, low alloy steel that contains chromium. Thanks to its makeup properties, this material provides excellent strength and fatigue properties for operating temperatures less than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. These features make chrome steel a great choice for most general applications in need of thin section bearings.

Available chrome steel bearing options

  • R – no seals or shields
  • RJ – two seals
  • RN – thin dense chrome plating
  • RL – thin dense chrome plating with two seals
  • RH – one seal

Tool Steel

M50 tool steel is a molybdenum type material that works as an intermediate high-speed solution. The increase molybdenum gives this material option increased wear resistance, as well as strength for temperatures up to 800 degrees. In addition, M-50 tool steel boasts good oxidation resistance and high compressive characteristics. These characteristics makes M-50 tool a good option for bearings used in higher temperature environments that demand increased resistances, such as those for aircraft.

Available tool steel bearing options

  • RM – no seals or shields

Stainless Steel

If you have an application that operates at very high temperatures or demands clean room conditions, 440C stainless steel may be the right material for your needs. Stainless steel provides much better corrosion and chemical resistance than standards steels, making it an attractive choice for any application where potential product contamination is a major issue, such as food processing or semiconductor equipment manufacturing. Stainless steel also offers high stability in high temperature, although it’s also softer than lower-temperature options. However, this can be overcome by choosing a stainless steel part that meets your performance needs.

Available stainless steel bearing options

  • RS – no shields or seals
  • RW – two seals


While ceramic isn’t an option for the inner and outer races, you can opt for a hybrid thin section bearing made with steel raceways and cages and ceramic balls. Ceramic offers a few advantages other standard steel balls, starting with ceramic being a lighter material than steel. In addition, ceramic offer higher corrosion resistance and high-temperature capabilities up to 1,800 degrees.

Unlike steel, ceramic is also nonconductive, which makes it an appealing option for certain electrical applications. However, ceramic balls are more expensive than standard metal ones. Of course, this additional cost may be well worth the price depending on your exact performance and environmental requirements.

Available bearing options with ceramic balls

  • RX – chrome steel
  • RY – stainless steel with no seals or shields

Find the Right Bearing Material for Your Applications

There are several different factors that can impact the success of your thin section bearings, so it’s crucial to invest in the right parts for your specific needs. At SSB, we have the components and expertise available to tailor our inventory to your requirements. If you already know what you want, you can build your own custom thin section bearing through our SSB product builder. If not, contact us today to have one of our experts identify a solution for your performance needs and budget.