Bearings and bushings are used for a variety of applications that require rotation, such as machine parts and motors. Bearings allow the smooth motion of rotating parts while also providing support by reducing friction. 

Bearings and bushings fall into two general categories: radial bearings and angular contact ball bearings. Both types of bearings have different features that make them suitable for specific applications.

On the outside, radial and angular contact bearings may appear identical, however their inner workings are vastly different. The angled inner and outer races of angular contact bearings apply an outward force known as preload to the ball bearings in its core. 

However, many individuals are at a loss when it comes to deciding which one is the right fit for them. Let’s explore the significant distinctions between these two types of bearings.

Deep Groove Ball Bearing

The most widely used form of rolling bearing is the deep groove ball bearing, as it has proven to be dependable and effective in a wide range of applications. Radial bearings are composed of an outer ring, inner ring and steel balls. 

These ball bearings can absorb radial loads in both directions and support moderate axial loads. When  placed in an application, radial bearings tend to be quieter and more stable than angular contact ball bearings. Radial bearings are ideal for low speed applications since the load is evenly distributed on all the balls.

Angular Contact Ball Bearing

Angular contact ball bearings are composed of two rings and a number of balls that create an angle between the inner and outer race. Bearing manufacturers tend to design angular contact ball bearings for high speed applications due to their ability to support heavy radial and axial loads in one direction. 

This is because the preload applied by the angled races causes the rolling elements to be tightly held even under large loads. Angular contact bearings are capable of bearing both radial and axial loads. An evenly distributed weight is passed from one ring to another via the balls, at a predetermined contact angle for optimal efficiency.

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Differences in Structure

Deep groove and angular contact ball bearings of the same inner and outer diameter as well as width have similar internal ring structures, but their external rings are distinct.

  • Unlike angular contact ball bearings, which primarily have single shoulders on either side of the outer ring groove, deep groove ball bearings are characterized by double shoulders.
  • The outer ring of a deep groove ball bearing is more curved than that of an angular contact ball, which typically has a larger curvature.
  • In contrast to the deep groove ball bearing, the angular contact ball bearing features an outer ring with a non-central position of precise measurement related to contact angle. This distinction is taken into account during its design phase for maximum accuracy and effectiveness.

In Terms of Use

  1. Deep groove ball bearings are suitable for withstanding radial forces, minimal axial forces, and a combination of both moment loads and radial loads. However, angular contact ball bearings do have the capacity to carry singular radial loadings as well as substantial shafts.
  2. Angular contact ball bearings of the same size possess much higher limit speeds than deep groove ball bearings, with distinct speed limits.
  3. Bearing bushing is also important when choosing bearings. Bearing bushings are used to guide and support the rotating part of the bearing, providing support by reducing friction.

Wrapping Up

Deep groove ball bearings and angular contact ball bearings are both designed to facilitate smooth, efficient movement in a variety of industrial applications. The right bearing for each application will depend on its load requirements, as well as the working speed and environment variables that can affect bearing performance. 

Bearings suppliers should be consulted regarding the best type of bearing for any given application. Bearings and bushes suppliers can also provide assistance with bearing selection, installation, maintenance and repair for any industrial machinery setup. By selecting the right bearings and bushings suppliers, customers can ensure that their applications benefit from reliable performance and longer lasting parts.