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Bearing Nomenclature

Here is some information on bearing types and nomenclature that I

thought everyone might enjoy. If you know the bearing number, you don't
need to go to the dealer, just go to a local bearing distributor or a
place that sells gear boxes. They should have them or be able to get
them in a day.
A bearing number has four parts to it which includes four numbers and a
set of letters. Each of the first two numbers stand for something, the
last two designate size. The letters dictate the variation of the
bearing. These letters can also be followed by more letters designating
internal clearance.
In detail:
First number (will be a 1-7) designates the bearing type:
1 = Double Row self-aligning
2 = Double Row self-aligning (wide)
3 = Double Row
4 = Angular Contact
5 = Thrust bearing
6 = Single Row Deep Groove
7 = Angular Contact
The second number designates the series, or cross section. This is
basically equivalent to the second number of a tire rating, it's a ratio
of the bore to the width of the bearing, which also controls the O.D. of
the bearing. The larger the cross section, the larger the O.D. of the
18 = Thin Section, Light
19 = Thin Section, Medium
0 = Very Light
2 = Light
3 = Medium
4 = Heavy
The third number (which is a set of two numbers) indicates the bore (in
mm) of the bearings. All bearings are designated with metric standards,
not inches.
Numbers are as follows:
00 = 10 mm
01 = 12 mm
02 = 15mm
03 = 17 mm
For 20-480mm bore bearings: Last 2 digits x 5 = Bore (mm)
i.e.- if the bearing number was 04 (04 x 5 = 20 mm), 05 (05 x 5 = 25 mm)
The letters after the number indicate the variation. These change from
manufacturer to manufacturer, but here are some of the common ones:
Plain -- No Shield
Type Z -- One Shield (normally will have metal shields)
Type 2Z -- Two Shields (one on each side)
Type RS1 -- One Seal (normally the R indicates rubber)
Type 2RS1 --Two Seals (one on each side)

Type LL -- Two Seals (just another manufacturer's designation)

CD -- 15 degree contact angle (for angular contact)
ACD = 25 degree contact angle (for angular contact)
The bearings can also have a C2, C3, C4 or C5 designation after the
bearing number. This indicates that the internal fit (the inner race to
ball to outer race) is not standard. If your bearing has one of these
designators, make sure you get a bearing with the same designator. A C2
is less than standard clearance, while a C3, 4, and 5 are larger than
If anybody has a set of old bearings and can mic them up (ID, OD and
width) I can cross reference them to a standard bearing number.
Boys and girls, our next lesson will be on proper interference and
clearance fits!

Bearing Nomenclature
PACAMOR KUBAR BEARINGS offers a range of retainer designs and materials
including, but not limited to Crown, Ribbon, heat and moisture resistant Phenolic, and
Torlon (polyamide-imide). In addition to selecting the right retainer for your miniature
and instrument bearing application, dissimilar materials can prevent component welding
and extend the life of the bearing in a variety of applications.
To this end, we offer standard 400C stainless steel or optional ceramic balls or titanium
carbide coated 440C stainless steel balls in our miniature and instrument bearing designs.
PACAMOR KUBAR BEARINGS precision miniature and instrument bearings are
available with up to ABEC 9 tolerances (as defined by the American Bearing
Manufacturers' Association) with an optional flanged outer ring.
For further assistance with bearing selection and design, please feel free to contact our
engineering team, look at our online catalog . or chat with a company representative right

Description of
PACAMOR KUBAR BEARINGS part numbering system and
methodology for identifying a PKB part number.

Special Feature Material Type Style Retainer Basic Size Closure






Special Feature
X = special feature or change in standard dimension to basic bearing number
A = tapered O.D.

S = AISI44OC stainless steel

Type (F)
F = flanged bearing No Symbol = straight O.D.

Style (R)
R symbol is to be used for all miniature and instrument bearings to signify single row.

Retainer (B, PH) - When blank, manufacturer standard or option.

Standard retainer could be either one piece crown or two piece ribbon type. When Blank
= manufacturer's standard B = Two Piece Ribbon PH = Phenolic Crown Retainer

Basic Size (2-5, 144)

See basic bearing numbers listed

Closures (ZZ,Z)
Z = Single shield
LL = Double glass-reinforced Teflon seal
ZZ = Double shield
RS = Single rubber seal
Z1 = Shield on flanged side
2RS = Double rubber seal
Z2 = Shield opposite flanged side
V = Single non contact seal
T = Single Teflon seal
VV = Double non contact seal
TT = Double Teflon seal
UZ = Single shielded narrow width bearings
L = Single glass-reinforced Teflon seal No designation = open bearing.






Coding /












Ring Feature (EE,NR)

EE = extended inner rings
NR = snap ring on bearing O.D.

Radial Play (K25,K24)

Symbol K followed by number indicates radial play in tenths of thousands of an inch.
K25 = 0.0002 to 0.0005
K58 = 0.0005 to 0.0008

ABEC Tolerances (A5, A7)

A1 = ABEC 1
A3 = ABEC 3
A5 = ABEC 5P
A7 = ABEC 7P
A9 = ABEC 9P
Selected ABEC9 tolerances are available upon request

Functional Test (ST10,EMQ) - When blank, manufacturer

ST followed by number indicates starting torque in hundreds of MG-MM
E.M.Q. = Electric Motor Quality

Lubrication (L245X,ROY27) - When blank, manufacturer option.

LD = Dry bearings / no lubrication
Standard Oil L245X, MIL-L-6085
GP = Indicates grease plate
Standard Grease ROYCO27, MIL-G-23827BC = Indicates barrier coating
Alternate lubes available upon request.

Coding (ZD)
0.0001 Increment Coding
(Standard), In

Nominal to -0.000050,
-0.000050 to
-0.000100, In
-0.000100 to
-0.000150, In
-0.000150 to
-0.000200, In
-0.000200 to
-0.000250, In
-0.000250 to
-0.000300, In

0.000050 Increment
Coding, In

Grade Symbols

Graded Bore and OD



Graded Bore Only



Graded OD Only



Duplex Coding (DB)

DB = Back to Back Pairing DT = Tandem Pairing
DU = Universal
DF = Face to Face Pairing

Packaging (P,B)
The following symbols indicate various types available:
Blank = Vial packaging
P = Individual pill packaging
B symbol = Individual box
M symbol = Individual pack per mil-p-197

How Bearings Work

by Karim Nice

Inside this Article



Introduction to How Bearings Work

The Basics
Bearing Loads
Types of Bearings
Some Interesting Uses
Lots More Information
See more
See all Internal Combustion articles
Simply Science: Harnessing Energy to Do Work
Have you ever wondered how things like inline skate wheels and electric motors spin so smoothly and
quietly? The answer can be found in a neat little machine called a bearing.

The bearing makes many of the machines we use every day possible. Without bearings,
we would be constantly replacing parts that wore out from friction. In this article, we'll
learn how bearings work, look at some different kinds of bearings and explain their
common uses, and explore some other interesting uses of bearings.

The Basics
The concept behind a bearing is very simple: Things roll better than they slide. The wheels on your car are
like big bearings. If you had something like skis instead of wheels, your car would be a lot more difficult to
push down the road.
That is because when things slide, the friction between them causes a force that tends to slow them down.
But if the two surfaces can roll over each other, the friction is greatly reduced. A simple bearing, like the

kind found in a skate wheel

Bearings reduce friction by providing smooth metal balls or rollers, and a smooth inner and outer metal
surface for the balls to roll against. These balls or rollers "bear" the load, allowing the device to spin

Bearing Loads
Bearings typically have to deal with two kinds of loading, radial and thrust. Depending on where the bearing
is being used, it may see all radial loading, all thrust loading or a combination of both.

The bearings that support the shafts of motors and pulleys are subject to a radial
The bearings in the electric motor and the pulley pictured above face only a radial load. In this case, most of
the load comes from the tension in the belt connecting the two pulleys.

The bearing above is like the one in a barstool. It is loaded purely in

thrust, and the entire load comes from the weight of the person sitting on the stool.

The bearings in a car wheel are subject to both thrust and radial loads.

The bearing above is like the one in the hub of your car wheel. This bearing has to support both a radial load
and a thrust load. The radial load comes from the weight of the car, the thrust load comes from the cornering
forces when you go around a turn.

More Science Videos

Types of Bearings
There are many types of bearings, each used for different purposes. These include ball bearings, roller
bearings, ball thrust bearings, roller thrust bearings and tapered roller thrust bearings.

Ball Bearings
Ball bearings, as shown below, are probably the most common type of bearing. They are found in
everything from inline skates to hard drives. These bearings can handle both radial and thrust loads, and are
usually found in applications where the load is relatively small.

Photo courtesy The Timken Company

Cutaway view of a ball bearing

In a ball bearing, the load is transmitted from the outer race to the ball, and from the ball to the inner race.
Since the ball is a sphere, it only contacts the inner and outer race at a very small point, which helps it spin
very smoothly. But it also means that there is not very much contact area holding that load, so if the bearing
is overloaded, the balls can deform or squish, ruining the bearing.

Roller Bearings
Roller bearings like the one illustrated below are used in applications like conveyer belt rollers, where they
must hold heavy radial loads. In these bearings, the roller is a cylinder, so the contact between the inner
and outer race is not a point but a line. This spreads the load out over a larger area, allowing the bearing to
handle much greater loads than a ball bearing. However, this type of bearing is not designed to handle much
thrust loading.
A variation of this type of bearing, called a needle bearing, uses cylinders with a very small diameter. This
allows the bearing to fit into tight places.

Photo courtesy The Timken Company

Cutaway view of a roller bearing

Ball Thrust Bearing

Ball thrust bearings like the one shown below are mostly used for low-speed applications and cannot
handle much radial load. Barstools and Lazy Susan turntables use this type of bearing.

Photo courtesy The Timken Company

Ball thrust bearing

Roller Thrust Bearing

Roller thrust bearings like the one illustrated below can support large thrust loads. They are often found in
gearsets like car transmissions between gears, and between the housing and the rotating shafts. The helical
gears used in most transmissions have angled teeth -- this causes a thrust load that must be supported by a

Photo courtesy The Timken Company

Roller thrust bearing

Tapered Roller Bearings

Tapered roller bearings can support large radial and large thrust loads.

Photo courtesy The Timken Company

Cutaway view of (left) a spherical roller thrust bearing and (right) a radial
tapered roller bearing
Tapered roller bearings are used in car hubs, where they are usually mounted in pairs facing opposite
directions so that they can handle thrust in both directions.

Some Interesting Uses

There are several types of bearings, and each has its own interesting uses, including magnetic bearings and
giant roller bearings.

Magnetic Bearings
Some very high-speed devices, like advanced flywheel energy storage systems, use magnet bearings.
These bearings allow the flywheel to float on a magnetic field created by the bearing.
Some of the flywheels run at speeds in excess of 50,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). Normal bearings with
rollers or balls would melt down or explode at these speeds. The magnetic bearing has no moving parts, so
it can handle these incredible speeds.

Giant Roller Bearings

Probably the first use of a bearing was back when the Egyptians were building the pyramids. They put round
logs under the heavy stones so that they could roll them to the building site.
This method is still used today when large, very heavy objects like the Cape Hatteras lighthouse need to be

Earthquake-Proof Buildings
The new San Francisco International Airport uses many advanced building technologies to help it withstand
earthquakes. One of these technologies involves giant ball bearings.