About the Angular Contact Ball Bearing

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Angular contact ball bearings, also known as spindle ball bearings, consist of an inner ring, outer ring, ball, and a cage to contain and separate the ball. Angular contact ball bearings can support an axial load, but cannot be used by a single bearing because of their angle. They must be used in combinations or in pairs.

Bearing Design

This type of bearing is characterized by having the raceways in one or both of the rings displaced with each other by having one shoulder relieved or higher than the other, in the direction of the bearing axis. This asymmetrical design of the angular contact bearing assembled along with a thrust load provides sharp contact angles for high thrust capacity and rigidity of the axis, allowing for the combined load support of concurrently acting axial and radial loads.

The contact angle of the ball bearing typically varies from 15 to 40 degrees and is measured in relative proportion to the line running perpendicular to the bearing axis. Angular contact bearings are unidirectional thrust ball bearings that can bear heavy thrust loads and moderate radial loads. They are designed to sustain higher axial loads in one direction along with radial loads where a contact angle is formed between the races in the radial plane and the line joining the points of contact of the balls when the bearing is in use. This permits the bearing to transmit the load from one raceway to another in a perpendicular line to that of the bearing’s axis. As externally applied loads are transmitted from one ring to the other along a specific angle, the inner and outer race gain the same angle of contacts. The higher the axial load, the lower the radial load supported.

Bearing Classification

Angular contact ball bearings are classified with different accuracy and tolerance ranges for ball bearings on the ABEC bearing rating scale. A higher ABEC number indicates that the bearing tolerances are tighter. When searching for your angular contact bearing, it is important to consider aspects like operation specifics and dimensions.

Operating Specifics for Angular Contact Ball Bearings

  • Static radial load: the maximum radial load the bearing can withstand without succumbing to the pressure
  • Dynamic radial load (calculated constant radial load): the amount of load a set of similar bearings with fixed outer rings can withstand against a rating life of one million revolutions of the inner ring
  • Rated speed: Grease lubrication gives a lower rated speed for bearings as compared to a bearing with oil lubrication.

Dimensions for Angular Contact Ball Bearings

  • Design units of angular contact bearings can be in either inches or metric units
  • Outside diameters include housing for housed units but exclude the flange for flanged bearings
  • Bore
  • Outer ring width

The most common types of angular ball bearing include four point contact ball bearings, singular row, and double row angular contact ball bearings. Angular contact bearings have different kinds and styles of shielding and seals, which essentially retain lubricant to provide protection against contamination. In this type of bearing, there are different types of seals and shields used, including single seal, double seal, single shield, and double shield. When compared to shields, seals provide better lubricant coverage and containment, but have a reduced maximum speed capability.

There are a variety of materials used in the construction of the angular contact bearing, including stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic. This type of ball bearing can also be plated. The materials that are commonly used to plate these bearings include chrome and cadmium.