How Ball Bearings Work (Engineering)

How Ball Bearings Work (Engineering)

This 3D animated video explains how anti-friction (rolling contact) ball bearings work. We look at all of the main components of the bearing and how it works.


Bearings Playlist


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An anti-friction ball bearing consists of the following parts:

Inner Ring – also called an inner race or cone.

Outer Ring – also called an outer race or cup.

Rolling Elements – balls or rollers.

Cage – also known as a separator or retainer. The cage separates the rolling elements evenly apart.

The inner ring usually rotates whilst the outer ring is usually stationary. Rolling elements can be either ball or roller, but the 3D animation shown in this video uses a ball bearing.

Bearings may also contain either a seal or shield. Seals prevent moisture and particle ingress, whilst also retaining the grease. Shields reduce particle ingress and form some barrier to prevent the grease escaping the internals of the bearing. Shields are usually manufactured from metal whilst seals are usually manufactured from Teflon or rubber.

Bearings may be oil or grease lubricated.

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