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Autoround——Auto Parts Wholesale

What Are Bearings


In this first Bearing Column, we’ll explain the absolute basics of bearings and briefly describe their functions.



1. What are bearings?

Bearings are “parts that assist the rotation of objects.” They support the shafts that rotate inside the machine.

Machines that use bearings include cars, airplanes, generators, etc. They are even used in household appliances we use every day, such as refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and air conditioners.

Bearings support the rotating shafts of wheels, gears, turbines, rotors, etc. in these machines, allowing them to spin more smoothly.

As a result, various machines require a large number of shafts to rotate, which means that bearings are almost always used, so that bearings are called the “bread and butter of the mechanical industry.” At first glance, bearings seem to be simple mechanical parts, but we cannot survive without bearings.


2. The role of bearings

So, what role do bearings play in keeping machines running smoothly?

They perform the following two main functions.

Function 1: Reduce friction and make rotation smoother
Friction is bound to occur between the rotating shaft and the components that support the rotation. Bearings are used between these two components.

Bearings are used to reduce friction and allow for smoother rotation. This reduces energy consumption. This is the most important function of bearings.

Function 2: Protect the part that supports rotation and maintain the correct position of the rotation axis
A lot of force is required between the axis of rotation and the part that supports the rotation. The purpose of the bearing is to prevent this force from causing damage to the components supporting the rotation and to maintain the correct position of the rotating axis.

This feature of bearings allows us to use our machines repeatedly over a long period of time.


3. What is the application range of bearings? 

Let’s ask ourselves how much our daily lives depend on bearings. You don’t usually see them, so it’s a little hard to imagine, right? Let’s talk about cars, because these are the things we all know.

How many bearings does a car need?


Figure: The main places where bearings are used in automobiles

① Equipment (parts) that generate driving force
Examples: alternators, turbochargers, etc.

② Steering device (parts)
Example: steering gear, pump, etc.

③ Equipment (parts) that transmit driving force
Example: transmission, differential gear, etc.

④ Equipment (parts) for driving a car
Example: wheels, suspension, etc.


…The correct answer is about 100!
For high-end cars, the number of bearings is more than 150!

All these bearings play a very important role.


If the car has no bearings

Spins can get rough and use up a lot of energy, and
The part supporting the rotation will break almost immediately.
Therefore, without bearings, we would not be able to drive our cars safely and comfortably.

In this way, the bearings continue to work in the shadows, making our lives more comfortable.