Posts in:Facts

How Does A Self-Aligning Bearing Operate?

Posted November 12, 2015 by admin

Better Self-Aligning Ball Bearings for Your IndustryOften called the “ideal” ball bearing, we’re cracking the mystery of how self-aligning bearings operate and sharing their many uses.

Have you ever wondered what separates self-aligning ball bearings from roller bearings or other custom solutions? And how exactly do these bearings self-align? These small wonders are often recommended and designed for placement in applications where misalignment would otherwise exist. Misalignments may come from assembly errors, deflections, machine errors, or other defects in production.

The design of the self-aligning bearing is what allows it to be so versatile in play. Self-aligning ball bearings contain two rows of balls and an outer ring that is spherical in shape.

It is this unique outer raceway (sometimes doubled in self-aligning bearings) of this ball bearing that allows it to self-align as well as operate smoothly without any stress to the bearing. Because of the raceway involved, these units are able to run cooler at higher speeds than other bearings. There are many variations of this bearing available, making it a definite must-have for your industry.

At VNC Bearing we have an expansive line of bearings, from ball bearings to roller bearings, we’ve got it all. Or contact us today for custom solutions to meet your specific needs. Call now at 614.876.1000

Why is proper radial clearance important?

Posted November 9, 2015 by wowdev

When presented with an opportunity to resolve a noise issue, VNC proceeded with a systematic approach in order to determine the root cause and solution.

It all began when elevated noise levels began to be reported in approximately 20% of the customer’s assemblies.

During the initial investigation, the shaft and housings were measured and found to be within tolerance.  Bearing inventories were also measured and individually tested for noise and were found to be good.

Forensic Examination

The forensic examination began by carefully disassembling the bearings. Microscopic investigation of the bearing races yielded evidence of brinelling in about 20% of the inspected bearings.

Brinelling is a material surface failure caused by excessive contact stress. When the contact stress exceeds the material limits, plastic deformation occurs and small indentations can be seen.

In addition to the signs of brinelling, small axial scratches were observed on the raceways at ball spaced intervals. The combination of the axial scratches and brinelling pointed to the failure originating during the installation process.

At this point VNC contacted the customer in order to verify proper installation procedures were being used in the assembly areas. Once the team confirmed that all technicians were using acceptable installation procedures, the focus turned to the suitability of the assembly fits.

The Hypothesis:

Although each of the components were meeting their print specification, the resulting assembly fit, including the statistical variation of each component, must be considered. Even if nominal dimensions yield a desirable assembly fit, the statistical variation of each component must be included in order to consider every possible assembly scenario.

This type of situation, where only a portion of the potential assembly scenarios create undesirable results could explain why only 20% of the customer’s assemblies were exhibiting brinelling.

After detailed calculations, it was determined that brinelling could occur when the shaft was at the high end of the tolerance range and the housing and the bearings were at the low end of the tolerance range.  In this scenario the resulting assembly fit completely removes the radial clearance within the bearing and gives the bearing excessive radial preload. This excessive radial preload correlates to excessive contact stresses which in turn, cause brinelling.

After more calculations, VNC advised that the issue could be resolved up by changing the bearing’s internal radial clearance specification to a “C4” rating.

The Solution:

Working with the customer and their subcontractors, VNC supplied 200 bearings with the new C4 radial clearance specification. These bearings were specifically numbered and special attention was paid to each bearing’s radial clearance and noise measurements.

Before assembly, the other assembly components were also measured, numbered, and tracked. By tracking each component in this manner, the resulting fit of each assembly could be accurately identified and recorded.

Over the next several weeks, the performance of the assemblies was monitored and the results were recorded.  Testing proved that the “C4” radial clearance specification successfully eliminated the brinelling and noise issues seen in the previous assemblies. With the root cause and solution identified, the customer changed their drawings to require the “C4” radial clearance on all bearings for future production.

Contact VNC Bearing today to find out how we can help you.