Precision ball bearings are tools that are used to allow for relative motion between two objects. Compared to other ball bearing varieties, precision ball bearings are characterized be their precise dimensions and consequent reliable high-performance.
In equipment that requires precisely controlled relative motion between two objects, precision ball bearings help to ensure a high degree of control and predictability of movement. There are many contexts in which ball bearings and other kinds of bearings are applied. In any system in which relative motion between two objects is necessary, some kind of friction reduction method is needed to make that relative motion easier. Bearings are among the most common means by which such friction reduction is accomplished. When those systems must be carefully controlled and operate according to strict specifications, precision ball bearings are employed. Such systems include intricate fishing reels, machine tools, aviation guidance and navigation systems, dental hand pieces and a wide variety of other products. Because precision ball bearings are often very small in size, they can often be described as miniature bearings, though not all miniature bearings are precision bearings.
Precision ball bearings are made of a material that is subjected to severe stress reversals. In a precision ball bearing, the balls bear the weight of the load, allowing the machine to run smoothly. Precision bearings can be used to allow for both radial and axial motion, usually only on a small scale. Precision ball bearings consist of an inner ring and outer ring, inner and outer tracks and balls that fit inside the tracks. The weight of the load is sent from the outer track to the balls and from the balls to the inner track. In this way, the friction between the moving parts is lessened. Precision ball bearings often have a longer lifespan than regular ball bearings. They are also quieter and result in less vibration. Precision bearings require little maintenance, can perform quietly at high operating speeds and can have lives up to eight times longer than other ball bearings. Not all precision bearings are ball shaped; they are also sometimes available in cylindrical and needle shapes.