Classification of bearings
Bearings can be classified based on different criteria, such as design and operating mode, allowed motion or direction of load. From a design perspective, bearings can be classified into:
Plain bearings – Also referred to as bushes, bushings or sleeve bearings, these are the simplest type of bearings. With a cylindrical shape and no moving parts, they are usually used in machines with a rotating or sliding shaft component. Plain bearings can be made of metal or plastic and can use a lubricant like oil or graphite for reducing the friction between the shaft and the hole it rotates in. Typically, they are used for sliding, rotation, oscillating or reciprocating motion.
Rolling-element bearings – These bearings have a more complex design and are used for supporting higher loads. They consist of rolling elements such as balls or cylinders which are placed between a turning and a stationary race. The relative motion of the races causes the movement of the rolling elements, with little friction and little sliding.
Depending on the shape of the rolling elements, these bearings can be further classified into ball bearings and roller bearings, with various sub-types: cylindrical roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, needle roller bearings and gear bearings.
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