Linear Roller Bearings
Linear roller bearings, also sometimes known as roller slides or crossed roller slides, are a type of linear motion machine element, or bearing, designed to facilitate the low friction movement of a load across a surface. Linear roller bearings facilitate this motion using rotating roller bearings. Linear roller bearings have been around for a long time. In fact, they are the earliest known type of rolling element bearing, with the earliest example dating back to around 40 B.C. One of the most basic examples of a system using this bearing type is a group of logs set out in a path to roll objects over. This simple system has worked for thousands of years because it reduces friction and speeds up movement.
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Applications of Linear Roller Bearings
Linear roller bearings and linear motion bearings are popular for use in many industries, where they assist in production and processing.
Industries that use these bearings include:
- Consumer and Retail Services
- Industrial Manufacturing
- Medicine and Pharmaceuticals
They can also be used in vacuum environments and clean rooms, as well as with automation and material handling machinery. In general, linear roller bearings, which are not self-cleaning, are suitable for use in environments with low levels of airborne contaminants.
Linear Roller Bearing Design and Customization
Among the many materials available to manufacturers for linear roller bearing fabrication, perhaps the two most commonly employed are stainless steel and aluminum. These materials are chosen for their high levels of durability, their ability to resist the wear and tear caused by constant motion, and their ability to resist the breakdown caused by heavy weight loads. In this day and age, linear roller bearings consist of a base, a carriage, and cylindrical bearings, which are housed inside the carriage. To keep the rollers in place, manufacturers design both the base and the carriage with v-shaped grooves, which they then place the rollers in between. Ball bearings work quite similarly, except in their case, they use spherical bearings instead of cylindrical ones. To work, the base, which is stationary, acts as a reliable foundation across which the loads can move while, at the same time, the mobile carriage transports the load to its intended destination.
Linear roller bearing systems are available in a variety of different sizes and with a variety of different features. They may be quite large, or, conversely, they may be designed as miniature linear bearings. Some of the optional features with which they may be equipped include guide wheels or support rails, bellows or covers, rail wipers, and motion locks. Guide wheels and support wheels are optional components that are installed to make sure that the linear motion of a system remains smooth, while bellows and covers alike are designed to keep dust and dirt out of the shaft assembly. Rail wipers assist operations by wiping the rails clean before the rollers are moved over them. Motion locks are installed if and when bearing operators wish to have more control over the function of the system; motion locks are used to hold a carriage position for a sustained period of time, slow linear motion, or stop linear motion.
Benefits of Using Linear Roller Bearings
Linear roller bearings are among the best and most useful linear motion bearings available to customers. For one, they are fairly inexpensive to produce. In addition, they are likewise easy to manufacture and simple to install. They also require relatively low amounts of maintenance. To keep your linear roller bearings running smoothly, it is simply required that you open and clean them up and clean them from time to time, as well as perhaps coat them with some sort of lubricating substance. This type of maintenance is especially important if your linear roller bearings regularly come in contact with airborne debris or corrosive weather. A well cared for set of linear roller bearings will likely last longer than a comparable set of linear ball bearings, as roller slides distribute the load of a weight more evenly. While ball slides place all the weight of a load on the point of a sphere, roller slides spread that same weight all along the length of a cylinder. This results in the slide having less of its surface under pressure and having, ultimately, less deterioration. Because linear roller bearings are non-motorized roller slides, they also have fewer elements to be concerned about, and it is very difficult for them to malfunction. For more information on these phenomenal products and how to care for them, contact one of linear motion bearing system manufacturers listed on this page.