Here at Bearing Centre, we have launched our new website to help connect you with our quality products and expertise. We hope that you enjoy the information contained in this new platform as we aim to inform and assist you, our valued customer, in all things related to our business!
As our name might suggest, bearings are an integral part of Bearing Centre’s business. These tiny rotating balls and cylinders are an essential part of many engineering components. In a world dominated by complex technology, it’s good to go back to basics and remind ourselves about the unsung hero of engineering.
What is a ball bearing?
Many machines need ball bearings to operate. Not dissimilar to hollow marbles on a marble run, ball bearings are steel spheres with a smooth surface. Able to bear thrust and radial loads, ball bearings are found in a wide range engineering marvels. If a machine needs to rotate, it probably has ball bearings as a component. Ball bearings can be found in everything from the humble kitchen blender to the powerful Hubble telescope.
How are ball bearings made?
In the simplest terms, ball bearings are created using heavy duty steel balls that move between two circular steel tracks called raceways. Ball bearings start off as a very rough ball that has been punched from other pieces of metal. For ball bearings to work effectively, the balls and raceways need to be precisely the right size and shape. Shaping steel into the perfect diameter and thickness is no easy task. During the manufacturing process, the raceways and balls are shaped, ground and checked at almost every stage to ensure the shape is precisely correct.
The entire process takes several days before the finished ball bearings are cleaned extensively and examined for defects before counting and packaging.
Want to know more? Check out How It’s Made’s informative video about how ball bearings are made.