Thrust Bearing are the axial thrust of both horizontal as well as vertical shafts and prevents the shaft from drifting in the axial direction to transfer thrust loads applied on the shaft. The rolling element in a thrust bearing can be a ball, needle or a roller. They come in both metric and inch sizes. The outside diameter and the overall width of the bearings are to be considered when searching for the bore. They are used in higher speed applications that require oil lubrication, such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. Different kinds of thrust bearings support different amounts of axial load. While operating at high speeds these thrust bearings are designed to handle thrust loads, these bearings can be ordered with an aligning seat or aligning washer if misalignment or deflection cannot be avoided.
- Commonly thrust bearings are found used in automotive, marine, and aerospace applications. Also they are used in the main and tail rotor blade grips of radio controlled helicopters.
- The forward gears in modern car gearboxes use helical gears so applications of thrust bearings are used in them, also they provide the smoothness, help in reducing the noise and cause the axial forces that are needed to be dealt with.
- Thrust bearings in radio antenna masts help in decreasing the load on an antenna rotator. Its usage is highly found in day to day products like bicycles, water pumps, washing machines, fans as well as DVD players.
Thrust Bearings Types
- Ball Thrust Bearings, which are composed of ball bearings supported in a ring and which are used in lower thrust applications where there is little radial load. They load thrust in one direction and consists of two hardened and ground thrust plates with matching ball grooves on one side and a one piece brass cage which contains the precision balls. Their washers may be flat or grooved. Miniature thrust bearings with bores are as small as 2 mm but as large as 340 mm.
- Angular contact ball Thrust Bearings, this is another type of bearing which accommodates both radial and the thrust loads with their large thrust carrying capacity.
- Roller Thrust Bearings, composed of cylindrical rolling elements, these thrust bearings have higher load carrying capacities then equally sized ball thrust bearings and its washers are typically flat. Roller thrust bearings starts at 45 mm bores, they also have their types, Cylindrical Roller Bearings: Designed to provide large thrust capacities they are much greater if compared with the ball thrust bearings.
- Thrust Needle Roller Bearings: Designed to transmit thrust loads between two relatively rotating objects while reducing friction and are ideal for automotive, agricultural and construction equipments.
- Thrust Tapered Roller Bearings: include rollers that have conical sections, which ensures a true rolling motion for maximum bearing life with a load carrying capacity.
Also other types of Thrust Bearing include,
- Plain thrust
- Thrust bearing-flat land type
- Thrust bearing-step type
- Thrust bearing-hydrostatic type
- Thrust bearing-collar type
- Thrust bearing-tilting pad type