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Ball Bearing Facts

In this article, we are going to review some interesting facts about ball bearings that you should know.



Fact #1:  Who were the engineers behind the equations static load rating equations?

First, you should know the men originally behind the equations and formulas engineers use for calculating static load ratings. Richard Stribeck, a German engineer, academic, and researcher who published his groundbreaking papers on bearings in the early 1900s on which most of today’s load rating equations are still based.   In 1924, Arvid Palmgren of Sweden published a paper in Germany on the subject of bearing life and reliability.  His subsequent work with Professor Lundberg resulted in the Palmgren-Lundberg theory.  This theory evolved into ISO/ANSI/ AFBMA (Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association) standards for load ratings and life of rolling element bearings.

Here are some additional articles on advanced polymer bearings:


Fact #2:  What is the basis for the basic static load rating?

Load ratings are used to select the number and type of ball bearings you need for your application.  The static load is the load that acts on a radial ball bearing that is not rotating.  When subject to a static load, the balls and raceways may experience permanent deformation that will result in degradation of performance.  The static equivalent load is the static, radial load that would cause the same amount of deformation, at the might highly stressed point of contact between the ball and race, as the actual loading condition.  It is a combination of the radial load and thrust load

The basic static load rating (C0) is defined as the static radial load that results in a permanent deformation of 0.0001 of the ball diameter occurring at the point of contact where the ball and race are most heavily stressed.


Fact #3:  How did the ABMA get its start?

The association most closely associated with bearing standards is the American Bearing Manufacturer’s Association, ABMA.  This association was founded as an informal committee in 1917 in connection with the manufacture of bearings during World War I.  In 1933 they officially became the American Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturer’s Association.  They changed their name to the American Bearing Manufacturer’s Association in 1993 to better serve the bearing manufacturing community.


Fact #4:  Which civilization was the first to use ball bearings?

It is for the Romans that we have the most definitive evidence of the use of ball bearings, spotted inancient-bearing the ruins of a ship in found in Lake Nemi in 1895.  It was not until the 1930’s that a salvage operation retrieved the ball bearings, which were then positively identified.  These ball bearings date back to 44 and 54 A.D.


Bearing Conclusion

From the ancient ball bearings of the Romans to the modern standards of bearings developed by the American Bearing Manufacturer’s Association ABMA, bearing have been around a long time and will continue to be an integral part of the world of mechanical design for the world-at-large.

For more in-depth information on the process of bearing selection in engineering design get a free copy of the Advanced EMC Technologies, 7 Step Process in Bearing Selection.

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