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Common Bearing Terminology

Thrust Ball Bearing – Ball thrust bearings, composed of ball bearings supported in a ring, with or without a retainer, can be used in low to medium thrust applications where there is little radial load.

Thrust Roller Bearing – Roller thrust bearings consist of small cylindrical rollers arranged flat with their axes pointing to the axis of the bearing. They give very good load carrying capacity, but tend to wear due to the differences in radial speed and friction is higher than with ball bearings.

Self Contained – Bearing races are attached as one unit (example: T-100, T-114RG, T-170, SC-100, SC-114RG, T-200RG, T-114).

Separated – Bearing races are not attached and need to be held together to form one unit (example: T-101, 2900, AE, F, FM).

Open Style – Bearing/balls are exposed on OD and/or ID (examples: T-114RG, T-101, T-114, 2900, F, FM).

Enclosed – Bearing is enclosed with protective sheath made of steel or brass. Can be partially or fully enclosed (examples: SC-100, T-100, T-170, SC-114RG, T-200RG).

Sleeve – Band made of steel or brass that attaches to either the inside (ID) or outside (OD) of bearing races. Provides some protection from outside environment. (examples: T-114, T-100, T-170, SC-100, SC-114RG, T-200RG).

Banded Bearing – Sleeve either on the outside or inside of bearing (example: T-100). Same as sleeved bearing.

Race – Washers made of steel that form top and bottom parts of bearing. Can have round groove, “V” groove or be a flat washer.

Raceway – Path inside bearing races for balls to rotate and travel through.

Round Groove – Shape of raceway groove (example: T-114RG, SC-114RG, T-200RG, 2900, FM).

“V” Groove – Shape of raceway groove. 4 point contact of balls with raceway vs. full contact as with round groove (example: T-170, T-100, T-114, T-101, SC-100).

Retainer – Ball or roller separator, made of steel/bronze/nylon (example: 2900). Also called cage.

Full Ball Complement – balls are not held or separated by a cage or retainer.