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How do Ball Bearings Reduce Friction in Machinery

Ball Bearings

Every matter is inter linked. Energy can be neither made nor killed. Friction is also a type which can be observed when converted the energy form present in it to heat energy. A Bearing is a small object which is used mostly for reducing the friction there by reducing the loss of energy. There are many types of bearings and now we can learn about how Ball Bearings reduce friction in machinery.

A Ball Bearing is a type of rolling element that reduces friction by the rolling balls between the spaces that are connected. Its main purpose is to reduce Rotational Friction and maintain loads in the races. Usually there are two races, first is Moving race and the second is Stationary race. For example, there are no bearings between these two races. There exists Sliding Friction between these two races. When we insert the Bearings in between these two races, we reduce the friction. The process implemented in the Ball Bearings to reduce friction is the conversion of Sliding Friction to Rolling Friction as the Rolling Friction is lower than Sliding Friction.


Ball Bearings have very low load capacity as they are very small in size and smaller contact area between the races. Thought the area is small, the effect of Ball Bearing in that area is very large. They can even tolerate some misalignment in the constructions. The first type of Ball Bearing was invented in 1794 with a small ball moving along with the groove.

Ball Bearings can be used everywhere. For instance, taking a mini wind mill having an automatic motion towards the wind. It uses Ball Bearings in between the two races. We have done this project as our Mini project and we couldn’t have done this without the use of Ball Bearings.

There are several construction types of Ball Bearings. They are named below-

1. Cornad Ball Bearing

2. Slot Fill Ball Bearing

3. Relieved Race Ball Bearing

4. Fractured Race Ball Bearing

5. Row Ball Bearing

6. Flanged Ball Bearing

7. Caged Ball Bearing

8. Partially Caged Ball Bearing

9. Hybrid Ball Bearing

10. Self Aligned Ball Bearing

These are the different types of Ball Bearings and each type Ball Bearing will be completely explained in further posts.

There are some factors to be considered while using Ball Bearings. They are as follows-

1. The life span of the Ball Bearings may vary from machine to machine and time to time.

2. There may be many failure models of the Ball Bearings. Better to choose the best one out of them.

3. There is a limit for each Ball Bearing for the maximum load. Small Ball Bearings can withstand small forces where as Huge Ball Bearings can withstand Huge amount of forces.

4. Lubrication must be inspected for the smooth running and proper working of the Ball Bearing.

5. The direction of load must be consistent and not varying all the time.

6. All the undesirable axial loads must be removed as much as possible for smooth functioning of Ball Bearing.

7. The size of the Ball Bearing to be fitted must be estimated and only correct size of Ball Bearings must be used.

8.Manufacturing of these Ball Bearings uses Aggregate Production Plan

Advantages of Ball Bearings-

1. Due to their efficiency in Friction, these may be noted for its high power saving feature.2. Lubrication frequency is very low and so the labor charges are low which is cost efficient too.

3. Reliability is on the top levels of all other Friction Reducers.

4. The tidiness of the equipment handled can be maintained with ease as it required less grease for lubrication for more span of time.

5. There are hardly fire hazards for these Ball Bearings. So these are very safe and can give first priority.

6. The savings will be increased which in turn has higher rates of production.

7. The life span of the Ball Bearings as well as the equipment that uses Ball Bearings also increases.

Disadvantages of Ball Bearings-

1. The cost of high quality Ball Bearings are very high.

2. The cost of reconstruction is also very high when compared to all other types.

3. Improperly configured Ball Bearings will cause the entire equipment to fail.

4. Proper care must be taken and precautions must be taken while handling with Ball Bearings.

This is all about Ball Bearings.

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