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Linear Bearing Manufacturers and Suppliers

IQS Directory provides a comprehensive list of linear bearing manufacturers and suppliers. Use our website to review and source top linear bearing manufacturers with roll over ads and detailed product descriptions. Find linear bearing companies that can design, engineer, and manufacture linear bearings to your companies specifications. Then contact the linear bearing companies through our quick and easy request for quote form. Website links, company profile, locations, phone, product videos and product information is provided for each company. Access customer reviews and keep up to date with product new articles. Whether you are looking for manufacturers of anti friction bearings, linear bearing design, linear bearing cages, or customized linear bearings of every type, this is the resource for you.

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With a multitude of bearing and slide designs available, both standard and custom designed models, Del-Tron Precision Inc. is proud to be a one-stop shopping experience for customers with linear motion needs. Products include basic linear bearings and associated designs. Our greatest strength is to offer components which provide a reliable mechanical interface for equipment.
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TUSK Direct is a company that produces high quality linear motion components such as linear bearings as well as assemblies for automated equipment. Same-day shipping, life-load calculators and CAD drawings are other services the team at TUSK is pleased to offer customers. Call before noon & you will be working with your products the next day. We want TUSK to be the name you think of!
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For over 60 years, Bishop-Wisecarver has been manufacturing guide wheels and guided motion products. Our customers rely on our innovative and cutting edge products for use in harsh environments, clean rooms, or other challenging applications. The Bishop-Wisecarver product line includes a range of actuators, linear guides, linear bearings, slide bearings, complete systems and many other components.
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As a distributor of bearings and power transmission products, Atlantic Drives & Bearings of NC offers name brand ball bearings. Choose from cam follower bearings, track roller and wire straightener and guide bearings, caged roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, and much more. Serving the industrial market for 11 years, our products are sold to manufacturing & equipment manufacturers.
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We distribute ball bearings, ceramic ball bearings, flanged ball bearings, miniature ball bearings, roller bearings, sleeve bearings, and mounted units. Other products include power transmissions, electrical items, material handling products, linear motion items, fluid power products and more.
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Industry Information

Linear Bearings

Linear bearings are often used when an object is moved along a straight line with high precision in an industrial or manufacturing setting. The object being moved on the linear bearings generally only needs to be moved in one direction, which makes the function and design of these linear bearings simple. The movement is produced with a high amount of repetition and fluidity.

Linear bearings provide a sliding or rolling contact between the object being moved and the bearing, creating relative motion among parts of the machine. There are many common uses for linear motion bearings. They can be found in drawer glides and work station height adjustment mounts. Occasionally these are referred to as linear guides, but mostly they are used as part of an industrial motion control system, along with devices such as linear actuators. Other more general uses for various types of linear bearings include optic alignment, disk certification, precision dispensing, vision inspection, wafer testing and handling, precision gauging and automated production equipment. They are often made of materials such as bronze, plastic and stainless steel. In the United States, they are measured via the American measurement system, but in Europe, metric linear bearings are used. The three main types of linear bearings are linear ball bearings, linear roller bearings, including needle bearings, and slide bearings. Other types include precision linear bearings, miniature linear bearings, linear rotary bearings and linear air bearings. There are different options for linear bearing housings, including pillow block linear bearings. Linear bearings have become much more popular in recent years, largely due to industry advancements in robotic automation.

Linear ball bearings use a rolling element such as a hard round ball to separate 2 moving parts along a straight line that provides smooth, low friction linear motion in rotary applications. There are two types-radial ball bearings, which carry both radial and axial loads, while thrust ball bearings are solely designed for pure thrust loads. They are used for light to moderate loads. Linear roller bearings carry loads by placing round elements, usually cylinders, between two objects. They have more load capacity because the contact between the rollers and line spread the load out. They are self-cleaning, inexpensive and simple to use. Needle bearings, a type of roller bearing, have cylinder rollers that are much smaller in diameter and use a thinly shaped needle roller. Slide bearings use low friction metals like Teflon and graphite inside of metal backing plates for linear movement and weight bearing. They are used on heated pipelines on oil production modules, in steel fabrication, and in oil or water transportation.

Air bearings are crossed roller slide assemblies that are controlled by a pair of air cylinders. They are low friction because the materials being moved ride on a cushion of air. They are round or rectangular, come with or without a vacuum and magnetic preload, and are used often in the aerospace industry and machine tools. Linear air cylinders are often made of aluminum and are used for tensile testing and precision positioning. Linear rotary bearings are used when accurate linear movement of large objects is required. They use a cylinder roller that is able to divide and handle heavy loads and are self-lubricating. They are used in car axels, machine shafts, clock parts and grinding machines. Precision bearings are used in machine-tool spindles and in other high-precision applications. They are considered high in quality and have a tight bearing tolerance. Miniature bearings operate at low torque and provide high performance in applications where low noise, minimal run-out and long life are required. Pillow block bearings are housings that are mounted to provide load support for a rotating shaft. They are often made of iron and may be plain, which constrain, guide or minimize friction in rotary or linear applications, or ball, which produce smooth, low friction movement in rotary applications.

Linear bearings use bushings, balls, slides, rails and grease and vary in size and strength. Manufacturers produce many different types of linear bearings used in conjunction with larger automated systems, such as positioning tables and robotic assisted assembly lines. One of these types, linear ball slides, is compact and has a small form factor and a short stroke. These slides have the ability to stroke up to one-third of the slide length. Crossed roller bearings, on the other hand, have a much larger load capacity than ball slides because of the contact line between each roller and the raceway. Linear bearings are easy to install and are typically low cost. Because there are so many linear bearing manufacturers, standardization is not common. Special consideration should then be made to determine what a bearing's width, length, inside diameter and load capacity needs to be for the specific application. Some of the linear bearings styles are self-cleaning and lubricating, while others need to be cleaned and lubricated with regularity to ensure successful utility.

Linear Bearings Manufacturers
Linear Bearings Suppliers
Linear Bearings Suppliers
Linear Bearings Manufacturers - Del-Tron Precision, Inc.
Linear Bearings Suppliers - Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation
Linear Bearings Suppliers - Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation
Linear Bearings Manufacturers
Linear Bearings Manufacturers
Linear Bearings Suppliers
Linear Bearings Manufacturers - Del-Tron Precision, Inc.
Linear Bearings Manufacturers - Del-Tron Precision, Inc.
Linear Bearings Suppliers - Tusk Direct, Inc.

Selecting the Right Type of Linear Motion Bearing System

Linear motion bearings are widely used for guiding and supporting the movement of machine components, products, and appliances. These systems provide low friction, smooth, and precise movement. They are an essential part of industries such as automation, packaging, medical, machine manufacturing, metal fabrication, printing, automotive, and food processing.

All these industries have different purposes and need motion bearing systems of various capacities. For that reason, specifying the right linear bearings becomes the first necessity for a business. It is important to have the correct size and capacity bearing for your application. Having an inadequate system would translate into increased involvement time and production cost. Sometimes, it can malfunction, which will affect the machine's operation.

In this article, we will discuss a few tips on selecting the right type of linear motion bearing system for your application -

Understand the Mechanism: If you visit a bearing manufacturer or supplier, they will show you many types of linear motion bearing mechanisms. This might confuse you. Therefore, the first step of selecting the ideal system is to explain your exact application requirements to them so that they can suggest the best solution, and these conditions can include load capacity, accuracy, smoothness, ease of installation, self-alignment, speed, pre-loading availability, end support mount, drag capacity, etc.

They will help you find out which system would be appropriate for your application based on these specifications. For example, if you need high load capacity and perfect smoothness but accuracy in movement is not a prerequisite, then linear bearing with bronze bushing will be an ideal pick for you.

Different Types of Bearings: Rail bushing bearings and profile rail bearings are two of the most used motion bearings. Many other types are an advancement of rail bushing and profile rail load bearing systems. The key advantage of rail bushing ball motion bearing systems is they can efficiently handle torsional misalignment that happens due to variations in the movement.

Profile rail bearing systems are employed in a large number of applications for their high accuracy, better strength, dynamic load capacity, and compact design. These systems offer higher load capacity than standard round rail systems with the help of ball channels that are located inside and outside.

Type of Load: The load that is put on the bearing can be vertical, horizontal, pitch roll, and yaw moment load. Sometimes, a single load can be a combination of all these loads. Additionally, loads may also vary in the magnitude and path. Make sure that there is a suitable load vector at every bearing. Typically, load vectors should be compatible with the linear load bearing system; it helps increase the life expectancy of the mechanism.

Accuracy: The accuracy of load bearings should also be taken into consideration when selecting a load bearing system. The precision of linear bearing can be termed as the variation observed in the height while it travels through the length of the rail. Profile rail bearings can be a better solution when you need your application to run at high accuracy.

Types of Linear Bearings a Supplier Can Offer

Linear bearings are often referred to as linear-motion bearings; they are specifically engineered to provide movement to a wide range of machine components. Also popularly called linear slides or linear actuators, these mechanisms are responsible for sliding parts of machines and various other applications such as furniture, automobiles, home appliances (for example, the tray of DVD players), etc. Bearings allow a component to move freely -back and forth and left to right or vice versa.

Typically, these systems need manual interference to carry out the movement. However, there are also computerized, intelligent linear bearings that can be controlled with the help of a remote control or control panel. Such sliding systems are fueled by electricity or battery.

Linear bearings move in linear motion. A linear bearing supplier can offer you these systems in a broad variety, all having the same purpose, which is to provide movement to a machine part. In the following sections, we will discuss some of the most commonly used linear bearings -

Rolling Element Bearings

These bearings contain a sleeve-like ring. In addition to this, they have a row of balls systematically assembled in cages. The cages, as well as the balls, are made of hard metal to ensure durability and strength. Technically, the cage is a rail and the balls are rollers.

The surfaces of rails and rollers have a smooth finish to ensure smoother and noise-free operation. Sometimes, some lubricant is also used to reduce friction and enhance the movement of the component.

Rolling element linear bearings have many advantages. The biggest one is superior strength and motion that is more reliable.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are a subtype of rolling element linear bearings. These are a more efficient version of rolling element bearings, with smoother and more accurate motion. Just like the rolling element slides, ball bearings also offer single axis linear movement. However, the balls or rollers in this mechanism do not need any additional lubrication. They have a self-lubricating technique that helps enhance the smoothness of the motion, whenever necessary.

Ball bearings are used heavily in the manufacturing industries in their delicate instrumentation, robotic assembly, cabinetry, high-end appliances, and clean room environments. Construction, furniture, and electronics are some of the other industries that use ball bearings.

Roller Bearings

These bearings also belong to the subcategory of rolling element linear-motion bearings. However, unlike the other types, these are non-motorized machines. They are run by hand. That is the reason why they are the cheapest of all rolling element bearings. These are a favorite tool for businesses that have a small budget or have limited operations. The size and load bearing capacity of these systems can be chosen according to the need of the business. A customized non-electric roller bearing system can provide better and more controlled movement of components.

Apart from these, plain bearings are also available that have no provisioning for balls or rollers. These linear bearings have limited uses in industrial operations.

How to Calculate Motion Error in Linear Bearings

Motion errors preferably should be evaluated after the fabrication; it is when profile errors occur most in the guide rails. If the motion error has surpassed the tolerance level, then, to attain precision, you will need to make adjustments in the guide rails. The modifications include regrinding, scraping, and lapping and involve expert and experienced hands. Undeniably, the process would be a time consuming one. Further, figuring out errors and fixing them allow the testing engineers to understand whether or not the design of the mechanism is perfect for the application. They also become aware of the motion accuracy that the design of mechanism can attain and the tolerance that the mechanism can bear.

Having testing engineers around during the design and development stages can help a manufacturing business reduce production costs and time while increasing motion accuracy.

Evaluate Load Distribution via Hertz Contact Theory

Load distributions in linear bearings can be evaluated with the help of a measuring tool that is based on Hertz contact theory. Such tools can indicate and suggest how motion errors can be contained within the set limit of tolerance.

Transfer Function Method

Another method, which is referred to as the transfer function method, can also be considered for the easy calculation of motion errors. With this method, the calculation can be done using a hydrostatic feed table. The transfer function technique, which is also known as the reverse technique, helps determine the condition of rail-form errors using the data of the measured motion errors.

Sometimes, this technique is employed to address the motion error in the linear motion bearing table and to reduce the motion error by making adjustments in the rail-form error. The motion error can be reduced to less than a micrometer, using the transfer function method. That is a negligible figure having no great impact on the performance of the linear motion bearing.

Straightness Error

The rail-form error is an important piece of information for calculating motion error; however, finding the rail-form error is not a simple exercise in a linear motion bearing system. For that reason, many engineers consider using another technique that does not use rail-form errors for the calculation of motion errors. Instead, this method uses straightness error of a building block to measure the motion error. A laser interferometer and a straight edge are used during the assembly of the linear bearing process for the calculation of straightness errors. Sometimes, a dial gauge is used in place of the laser interferometer with a straight edge to check the straightness error.

Horizontal straightness errors are removed to decrease the impact of inaccuracies brought in by roll (or ball placement) errors. Parallelism errors often build up between the joining of two rails. Checking the parallelism errors is sometimes helpful in accurately measuring motion errors.

However, the data calculation is different in both the processes. The calculation of straightness error is based on the Hertz contact theory, which also helps spot rail-form errors.

Linear Bearings Types

  • Ball screw bearings have a helical inner race that converts torque to thrust as the screw and nut turn and the component moves in a linear direction.
  • Crossed roller bearings are one of three primary types of linear bearings. They have more load capacity than ball slides because of the contact line between each roller and the raceway.
  • Flat ball cages are a linear bearing design in which the balls are trapped in a frame that spaces them at equal distances.
  • Flat roller cages are similar to a crossed roller bearing, but the axes to all the other rollers are parallel instead of crossed.
  • Gonio way bearings are curved to mimic the arc of a pendulum.
  • Linear air bearings are frictionless bearings that use a thin film of pressurized air to support a load and allow free motion in one direction. Also called a fluid film bearing, air bearings have a layer of air that forms between the machine element and the bearing so there is no solid to solid contact. Because there is no contact, there is no friction, static or running, as well as no wear, no lubricants and no heat generation.
  • Linear ball bearings are a type of rolling-element bearing that uses spherical elements to separate two moving parts along a straight line. Ball bearings consist of an assembly with spherical balls. They are considered linear or axial when the moving parts they separate travel along a straight line, as in a drawer opening.
  • Linear ball slides, often referred to as "linear slides," are compact forms of linear bearings with small form factor and a similarly short stroke. Maximum stroke can be about one-third of the slide length, but the form factor justifies the stroke.
  • Linear motion bearings are used to bear loads and direct linear motion.
  • Linear roller bearings are a type of rolling-element bearing, meaning they carry a load by placing round elements between two objects.
  • Linear rotary bearings are designed to allow an incoming shaft to rotate smoothly and with low friction as it moves simultaneously in a straight line. By combining multiple linear bearing technologies, these bearings are able to implement 360 degrees of rotation in addition to moving in a straight plane.
  • Metric linear bearings are designed for settings in which an object must be moved in a straight line in one direction with high accuracy and are identified by metric units of measurement.
  • Miniature linear bearings are bearings less than 10 millimeters in inner diameter that are designed to provide low friction motion in one straight direction. Including both rolling element bearings and plane bearings, this subset of linear bearings accomplishes the same tasks as its larger counterparts, only on a smaller scale.
  • Needle bearings use long thin cylinders as rollers to reduce friction between rotating components. The cylindrical rollers have a high length-to-diameter ratio which means they have a relatively large surface area in contact with the outer surfaces as compared to ball bearings. However, needle roller bearings are more compact and have the highest load capacity for a given radial space of all rolling element bearings.
  • Pillow block linear bearings are mounted bearings that provide accurate, low friction guidance and support for a shaft passing through the center of the bearing in a direction parallel to the mounting surface. Also called a plumber's block, these bearings allow the shaft to smoothly glide in and out of the housing.
  • Plastic linear bearings allow objects to move smoothly along in a straight direction with a minimum of friction. Made solely from plastic, these bearings are able to withstand the same rigors that ceramic or steel bearings can while possessing certain advantages over the more traditional materials, like being corrosion resistant to chemicals and acids that would harm conventional bearings.
  • Positioning stages or tables are comprised of two basic components: a precision linear slide (ball or cross roller), which serves as a linear bearing and guide, and a drive mechanism, which accurately moves and positions the slide top along the linear axis. 
  • Precision linear bearings  allow objects to be moved in one straight direction at high speeds with superior accuracy, low noise and vibration, and maximum life. Linear bearings in general are not capable of consistently accomplishing those tasks, and precision bearings are used in demanding situations for high-performance work with the least amount of machine downtime.
  • Slide bearings are a type of bearing that use low-friction materials such as Teflon and graphite for linear movement and weight bearing. Most slide bearings use a "sandwich" design consisting of two plates of low-friction material in between metal backing plates.

Linear Bearings Terms

Axial Clearance - The amount of play or movement displayed when a bearing's inner ring is moved axially in relation to the outer ring.
Basic Dynamic Load - The load under which a bearing can operate while rotating.
Bearing Analyzer - A device used to measure a bearing's performance, and for fault analysis after use.
Bearing Cage - A device used to separate the rolling elements of a bearing (also known as a retainer).
Brinelled - The result of rolling elements being forced onto inner or outer raceways, leaving indentations in the raceway which lead to premature bearing failure.

Carrier - Responsible for supporting and moving the load. Carriers are commonly attached to the linear slide with a bearing system.
Gib - A wedge-shaped piece of metal or wood designed to hold structural parts in place and/or provide a bearing surface.
Graphitic Corrosion - The deteriorization of bearing housings in grey cast iron products.
Grease Pocket - A special design feature of a cage/retainer that allows grease to accumulate and then slowly be fed to the rolling elements.
Load Rating - The maximum amount of weight that a bearing can withstand.
Lubricant - A substance is used to lubricate the moving surface of a bearing, protect against corrosion, conduct and transfer heat and keep contaminants from entering.
Pear Skin - A term that refers to the "fuzzy" appearance of the load-bearing surface of a bearing, which is caused by contamination.
Raceway - The portion of the bearing in which the ball or other part slides. Raceways provide the track of confined movement for the bearing mechanism itself.
Radial Clearance - The space between the rolling elements and the races in an unmounted bearing, designed so that the bearing has the necessary net clearance to operate.
Seal - A device to stop the ingress of contamination and the escape of lubrication.
Stay Rod - The long fasteners used to hold the retainers together when riveted retainers are used in a maximum bearing capacity.
Tensile Strength - The ratio of a material's strength to its cross-section.
Tribology - The study of friction, lubrication and wear on two moving surfaces in contact.
Weibull Distribution - A statistical analysis tool that is used to study bearing life and calculate the probability of failure.

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