What is a Thrust Bearing?
A thrust bearing is a particular type of rotary bearing. Like other rotary bearings they permit rotation between parts, but they are designed to support a high axial load while doing this (parallel to the shaft). Different kinds of thrust ball bearings are used to support different amounts of axial load. Thrust ball bearings are used in applications that use little axial load, where a ring supports ball bearings. Spherical roller thrust bearings are used in applications that require high axial load, and can also support shafts that are out of alignment. Thrust bearings are used in higher speed applications that require oil lubrication, such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. Generally, thrust bearings are composed of two washers (raceways) in which those for ball bearings may be grooved, and the rolling elements.
Thrust Bearings Product Line
Thrust bearings come in several varieties including:
- Ball Thrust Bearings - Composed of ball bearings supported in a ring, can be used in lower thrust applications where there is little radial load. Washers may be flat or grooved. Miniature thrust ball bearings starting with bores as small as 2 mm but as large as 340 mm.
- Roller Thrust Bearings - Composed of cylindrical rolling elements, Roller thrust bearings have higher load carrying capacities then equally sized ball thrust bearings. Washers are typically flat (not grooved). Small roller thrust bearings start at 45 mm bores.
Miniature Thrust Bearings
AST also specializes in miniature thrust bearings and small thrust bearings. Our ball thrust bearing metric series start with bores as small as 2.0 mm with flat raceways and 3.0 mm with grooved raceways with outside diameters of 6.0 mm and 8.0 mm respectively.
Some important factors when selecting thrust bearings from AST:
- Thrust bearings must be kept in matched sets.
- The bore (d dimensions) of one washer (smaller) in the set will conform to the specifications.
- The bore (d dimension) of the mating washer will be ~ .007” larger because it is a clearance hole for the shaft.
If you need help in selecting the best thrust ball bearing, thrust roller bearing, or small thrust bearing for your particular application, please remember that design engineering and application assistance are available from AST as part of our value-added services designed to make your job easier.
Thrust Bearings Online Catalog
Click here to go to our online catalog and product specifier for Thrust Bearings including thrust ball bearings and axial bearings. We also provide full specifications and free 3D CAD model downloads.