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How to Design Hydrodynamic, Rolling and Ball Bearings - Printable Version

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How to Design Hydrodynamic, Rolling and Ball Bearings - DanDDailey - 07-13-2019

In order to design a hydrodynamic bearing, the designer must choose the appropriate bearing diameter and length. This is based on needed information like surface roughness, clearance equipment, determined lubricant properties and flow rates. Formula like bearing characteristic number, load function and friction function are used.

When the load is radial, spherical roller (ball) bearings are used. Small axial loads cause a large reduction in ball bearings life. There are several types of ball bearing designs; seep groove, self aligning internal and self aligning external bearings.

Roller bearings have an outer and inner race with cylindrical rollers between the races. The line contact of the roller distributes load more uniformly than the ball bearing (point contact). Roller bearings are used for radial loads. A variation of the roller bearing is tapered roller bearing. These bearings have sloped inner and outer races with tapered rollers between the races. These races can be tightened on the rollers to allow good accuracy and is suitable for both radial and axial load. A common example of this bearing design is wheel itself.

The usual reason for failure of rolling bearings is fatigue of races. In the automotive field, 'Weibull' distribution charts are used to predict their reliability. For bearing selection, a simplified relationship is used. Load capacity of a bearing is affected by many things.

These factors are:

- size of rolling elements (bigger the better)

- number of rolling elements (more the better)

- number of rows of rolling elements

- conformity between race and rollers

- contact angle under load

- material properties

- lubricant

- operating temperature

- operating speed

Knowing all the above permits the designer sufficient information to properly fabricate a bearing type.

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