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Rolling element Bearings

Reference: Chapter # 10 Norton; Chapter # 11 Shigley

Material for REB: Hardened steel (C45)
Bearings are standardized following the specifications from
Antifriction bearing manufacturers association (AFBMA) &
International Standards Organization (ISO)
Rolling element can be ball or roller
Rollers can be straight, tapered or contoured
Separator, seals
Rolling element/Antifriction bearing (REB)

Journal bearing

Rolling element bearing

Sliding friction

Rolling friction

Low friction only for full film lubrication

Low starting friction

Suitable for high rotating speeds with impact Suitable for high starting loads
or momentary loads
Requires more axial space

Requires more radial space around the shaft

Silent working

Generate and transmit noise

For applications with minimal lubrication Useful in precise positioning of rotating

provisions, journal bearings are less costly

Failure of REB::
Assuming sufficient, clean lubricant is present, bearing will fail by fatigue
Failure occurs when either of raceway or rolling element develops a pit
It will lead to noise, vibration causing more damage to surface i.e. spallation
Eventually bearing part may fracture or get permanently jammed
Experiments performed by manufacturers have shown wide scatter in life of bearing

Undamaged raceway

Small spall

Progressed spall

Source: Branch et al., Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2010

AFRL: AirForce research laboratory, USA

Minimum life or L10 life or B10 life: of a group of nominally identical number of ball or roller
bearing is defined as the number of revolutions (or hours at a designed speed) that 90 % of
bearings will achieve or exceed before failure develops. It is expressed in terms of millions of
Selection of bearing depends on:
1. Type of application
2. Magnitude of applied static and dynamic loads
3. Desired fatigue life

Basic static load rating (C0): is defined as the load that will produce a total permanent
deformation of 0.0001 times the diameter d of the rolling element in the raceway and rolling
element at any contact point.
Basic dynamic load rating (C): is defined as the load that will lead to a life of 1 million
revolutions of the inner race.
Equivalent bearing load:
P = Ks(X VFr + Y Fa)
Fr := Radial load, Fa := Thrust/axial load; X := Radial load factor; Y := Thrust load factor;
V := Rotation factor with value 1 if inner race is rotating and 1.2 if outer race is rotating;
X, Y: obtained from the design data book or bearing catalogue and depend on the ratios of
Fa/(VFr) and e
Ks := Shock or service factor
Relationship between load (P) and L10 life:

10/3 Roller
where L10 := life of bearing in millions


Usually the radial (Fr) and axial/thrust (Fa) forces on the bearing location are known
Diameter for shaft (also the bore diameter of bearing) is selected based on limiting stress
and/or deflection in the shaft
Eqs. (A) and (B) are used to select appropriate bearing for L10 life

If the rolling element bearing is subjected to variable load P1, P2, P3, for cycles n1,
n2, n3,
Applying Miners rule for linear cumulative damage:
If the bearing is operated exclusively at load P1 then the life is: L1 = (C/P1)n. Therefore
damage in one revolution: 1/L1 = (P1/C)n. Thus damage in n1 revolutions: n1/L1 = n1 (P1/C)n
According to Miners rule: n1/N1 + n2/N2 + n3/N3 + = 1
n1 (P1/C)n + n2 (P2/C)n + n3 (P3/C)n + = 1
If equivalent load is P and total number of cycles is n, then
P = [(n1 (P1/C)n + n2 (P2/C)n + n3 (P3/C)n + )/(n1+n2+n3+ )]1/n
L10 life corresponds to a reliability (R) of 90%
For other percentage of reliability, L10 has to be multiplied with a factor Krel given in Table
XIII-15, Page 144 or calculated as Krel = 6.84[ln(1/R)]1.17 for R > 90 %

Standardization is achieved with bearings divided into i) light
ii) medium iii) heavy
All bearings are designated by XXXX four numbers
First number gives the type of bearing i.e. single row deep groove or angular contact etc.
Second number gives the series i.e. 1 for extra light, 2 for light, 3 for medium and 4 for heavy
Last two digits give the bore of the bearing which comes in multiples of 5mm above 20 mm.
E.g. 6308 number means medium series single row deep groove ball bearing of 8x5 = 40 mm


Cs = C0 := Basic static load rating

If Fa/Cs < 0.014, use values
corresponding to Fa/Cs = 0.014
Shock or service factor (Ks)
Type of load

Ball bearing

Roller bearing

Constant or



Light shocks



Moderate shocks



Heavy shocks



Extreme shocks



Deep Groove Ball Bearing Data (Series 62 and 63)

Rolling element Bearing Design

Input: 1. Diameter of shaft
2. Load
3. Speed of rotation
4. Life
Output: Selection of the type and size of bearing which will endure the given load for the
specified life with the specified reliability
Steps to be followed:
Step 1: Calculate the equivalent radial load
Step 2: If the life of the bearing is specified, calculate the value of C.
Step 3: Based on shaft size, select proper series of bearing which has C value greater than obtained in Step