Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

Somerville Aggerholm


Member since August 30, 2013

Ball Bearings Are Flat Another Myth Crushed
What shape are ball bearings? They're shaped such as a ball, as everyone understands, right?

The funny thing about what everyone knows is that everyone can be wrong. As an example, everyone believes that the America's Cup can be an ocean-sailing race, and yet the Swiss were able to win the Cup. For those readers that are geographically-challenged, Switzerland is a country composed entirely of mountains.

What does this have to do with ball bearings. Very little, I suspect, but balls have very little to do with ball bearings, either. To get one more way of interpreting this, people may check-out: division. Ball bearings look a lot more like hula hoops. But don't use them for that you will find them inconveniently heavy and painfully small.

You can view a picture of a ball bearing in the centre of this ball bearing supplier's site.

Just what exactly are those stunted steel tube donuts called ball bearings for anyway? Are they used as a spare wheel? Do they hold in evil shop-floor spirits? Number, they help things move more effectively. In an early demonstration of bearing application, three females pulled a locomotive (It had been merely a demonstration, not a career development).

Several bearings look virtually identical, if they are ball bearings, roller bearings or other bearings. What?! Other bearings?

What's a bearing, anyway?

Ball bearings are formed with an outer ring, an ring, a cage or a retainer inside, and a moving element inside, usually a ball (which is why they're named ball bearings). Roller bearings are formed utilizing a roller rather than a ball, which is why they are named roller bearings (Yes, finally something that makes sense!). Other bearings look the same as metal tubes, called plain bearings or bush bearings. They appear to be sawed off pipe or tube (something my metal tube bending consumer would be changing into architecturally glamorous architectural helps). This interesting rollerball shower curtain rings article has some witty suggestions for the reason for it.

The principle of bearings may be the same principle behind the wheel: things go better by rolling than by falling. They are called "bearings" because they bear the weight of the object, such as for instance an inline skate or the head of dentist's punch, letting the object to glide over them with incredible ease and speed. Unlike wheels, they don't turn themselves on on an they turn.

You can view this in action with some very nice cut-away pictures of bearings.

The balls or rollers spin on themselves within the bearing, reducing friction for the machine elements attached with them. To get other ways to look at the situation, please consider checking out: needs. It is much neater than using a container of oil, especially in dental equipment, and far more reliable than mice on a wheel.

Once upon a time, all bearings were metal such as for instance a metal tube or pipe with metal balls trapped inside. Today, more and more are constructed with ceramic as well as plastic (like anything else in this world!).

If you're still perplexed about why ball bearings are not formed like balls, remember that you get on a park and on a garage. And you may also decide to try cruising your sea-craft through the Swiss Alps. But don't take to playing a casino game of one-on one basketbearing.