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Chapter 1 - Bearing Basics

Course Objectives
Attendees will learn the skills necessary to successfully install and maintain rolling element bearings in rotating machinery. Specifically, the following topics are presented: Understanding basic rolling element bearing concepts Identifying bearings for replacement Choosing appropriate bearing removal methods Determining if associated components are usable Choosing appropriate installation methods Properly installing and lubricating bearings Maintaining installed bearings Troubleshooting common bearing problems Examining used bearings for root failure cause Introducing condition-based maintenance concepts

Bearing Quality
The bearing manufacturer controls bearing quality. SKF achieves extended design life in applications through investment in world class manufacturing techniques and quality practices, including statistical process control, ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 qualifications. Our European Research Center continuously researches advanced bearing life extension and manufacturing process improvements. On average, SKF applies for 2 new patents every day. Original equipment manufacturers choose bearing size based on design life considerations. Once the bearing or equipment is delivered, the customer controls the ultimate service life. SKF knows that service life can be extended significantly by paying close attention to environment, installation, and maintenance.

Controlling contamination is the key. In addition to training end users and manufacturers in the benefits of clean installation practices and operating environments, SKF provides special solutions, such as optimized seals, lubricants and coatings for extending bearing life in contaminated applications.

SKF Circle of Life

SKF is the only bearing company fielding a comprehensive maintenance tools catalog. However, getting the right tool for the job is not enough; training in proper techniques is, also, essential to successful installation.

Proper application of precision maintenance procedures can safely extend bearing life. Reliability centered maintenance practices improve preventive and predictive maintenance successes. Manufacturing plants still employing

breakdown maintenance tactics for plant-critical machinery, are probably losing significant amounts of money that could be reinvested to compete better in the marketplace.

This is a reconstruction of the bearing that was used to support the rotating structure on the vessels prow. The desire to reduce friction and improve application performance demonstrated by the ancients remains with us today.

SKF Literature Review

SKF has the most comprehensive variety of literature available for the proper installation and maintenance of bearings. Contact one of your local SKF authorized distributors, or visit our web site,, for more information.

Bearing Innovations

Ancient Bearing
SKF has been responsible for all new bearing types developed this century, starting with the development in 1907 of the self-aligning ball bearing by Sven Wingquist. The invention of the spherical roller bearing in 1919 by SKF engineer Arvid Palmgren was followed by the spherical roller thrust bearing in 1939. The hubbearing unit became available in 1972; although it was not strictly a new bearing type, being basically a double row angular ball bearing, the concept was original. When the CARB was announced in 1995 it was the first completely new bearing since 1939. Today, SKF continues to lead the world in innovative bearing design.

One of the first recorded examples of a rolling element bearing was found on the remains of a ship dated circa 20 AD, in the reign of the Roman Emperor Caligula.

Reconstructed Ancient Bearing

Primary Function of Bearing

In a rolling element bearing, friction is the determining factor for heat generation and the bearings operating temperature. Friction depends on load and several other factors, the most important of which are the bearing type and size, operating speed, lubricant properties, and lubricant quantity. The total resistance to rolling in a bearing is made up from:

The rolling and sliding friction in the rolling contacts The rolling and sliding friction in the contact areas between rolling elements and cage The guiding surfaces for the rolling elements or the cage The friction in the lubricant The sliding friction of rubbing seals, in the case of sealed bearings Introducing marbles or balls reduces the contact area further, to no more than a point. Point contact has less friction than line contact, resulting in improved rolling motion. Curl the book into a circle and it becomes the inner ring of the bearing. Curl the tabletop surface into a circle and it becomes the outer ring of the bearing. Add a cage to prevent rolling element contact and we have the modern rolling element bearing. Rolling element bearings have lower friction than plain bearings, especially at higher speeds. There is a clear energy savings using rolling element bearings over plain bearings as speed increases.

Bearing Loads
Loads are transmitted between the stationary part of a machine (commonly a housing) and a rotating part of a machine (commonly a shaft) with minimum resistance.

Load Examples: Radial - belt tension, car wheel (straight line) Axial - drill press, pumps Combined - right angle gearbox, car wheel (turning)

Roller and Ball Raceway Contact

How Bearings Work

In the above graphic, the book on the table could be thought of as a plain bearing. When pencils are introduced, the contact area is reduced significantly, lowering friction. The contact area has changed from a flat, plane surface to a line line contact.

The difference between the two basic families of rolling bearings is in the contact area of the rolling element. Balls have point contact, while rollers have line contact. Stress levels in the bearing are directly proportional to the applied load over the contact area of the rolling elements. The higher the stress level, the shorter the bearing life. Because friction also

increases with greater contact, ball bearings are most suited for light loads and higher speeds, while roller bearings are used for heavier loads and lower speed applications.

Roller Types

developed steel making techniques that ensure the highest quality and cleanliness of its steel, for maximum performance in operation. Clean steel means that the presence of inclusions (which can initiate cracking and fatigue spalls) is at an extremely low level. Standard bearing steels are of the 52100 grade, generally considered high carbon steel. Compared to stainless steels, which contain 10 to 18 percent of chromium and other elements, bearing steels are susceptible to corrosion. Stainless steels are available in some types and sizes, but bearing life is reduced. New developments include ceramics (such as silicon nitride), which are an option in harsh or extremely demanding environments.
Bearing rings and rolling elements

The shape of the rolling element often identifies the applications for which it is most suitable. The various roller shapes give each bearing unique characteristics.

Through-hardening steels Carbon chromium steel containing approximately 1 % carbon and 1,5 % chromium

Case-hardening steels Chromium-nickel alloyed steel and manganese-chromium alloyed steel containing approximately 0,15 % carbon

Bearing Components Heat Treatments

SKF bearings are predominately throughhardened (either Martensitic or Bainitic) steels. The most common through-hardening steel used for rolling bearings is carbon chromium steel containing approximately one percent carbon and 1.5 percent chromium. For bearing components with large cross-sections, steels alloyed with manganese and molybdenum are used for their superior through-hardening properties. SKF has played an important role in the development of through-hardening bearing steels. Particular attention is paid to cleanliness. Modern bearing steels have such small contents of macro and micro slags that it is unlikely that bearings operating under ideal conditions will fail from fatigue. Case-hardening is used for large heavily loaded bearings subjected to shock loads.

The purpose of rings and rollers is to carry loads and transmit power. Different shapes accommodate various design requirements. The purpose of cages is to provide rolling element guidance. Closures are used to control contamination and retain lubricants, reducing maintenance costs and extending bearing life.

Materials Used for SKF Rolling Bearings

A rolling bearing can only be as good as the material from which it is made. SKF has

Martensite hardening
Less costly Fixture can be used to reduce distortion

Bainitic hardening
Tough structure Automatic dimensional stability Compressive residual surface stresses

Case hardening
Hard surface and soft core resists through cracking Highest compressive residual surface stresses

Martensite hardening
Highest risk of propagation of surface cracks

Bainitic hardening
Somewhat more costly than martensite Lower hardness

Case hardening
Time consuming and costly process

Chromium-nickel and manganese-chromium alloyed steels, with a carbon content of approximately 0.15 percent are the casehardening steels most commonly used for rolling bearings. In most applications, there is virtually no difference in behavior between bearings made of through-hardened or case-hardened steels. ISO has acknowledged this fact by not making a distinction between steel types in the life calculation. Steel cleanliness and proper manufacturing methods, along with bearing design, are the decisive factors. However, in some applications a particular type of steel has certain advantages.

Classification of Dimensional Stability

This chart shows the classification of SKF bearings and their suitability for different operational temperatures. Note the effect on the hardness. The bearing life is reduced at elevated temperatures.

Dimensional Stability
The graph below shows the differing effects of temperature (over time) on the dimensional stability of bearing rings that are Martensitically and Bainitically hardened.

SKF rolling bearings can generally be used at operating temperatures up to +125 C. If operating temperatures are higher, the bearings must be subjected to a special heat treatment (stabilization) so inadmissible changes in dimensions do not occur because of structural changes. However, bearings should not be stabilized for a higher temperature than the expected operating temperature. For bearings required to operate at temperatures in excess of 300 C, special steels with high hothardness are required. In such cases, it is advisable to contact SKF.

Hardening Processes: Effects

Each of the three hardening treatments affects the structure of the steel, giving it different

characteristics. Compressive stress reduces the tendency for cracking.

Effects of Different Heat Treatments

Shown here are typical applications for the different treatments. The majority of bearings are Martensitically hardened. This treatment makes the bearing highly resistant to wear, and is suitable for most applications. It is also the least expensive process. In general, rolling elements (Rc 60 - 66) are slightly harder than rings (Rc 58 - 62.)

Bearing Contact Angle

Bearing Terminology

Single Row

Cylindrical Roller

Angular Contact

Taper Roller

Spherical Roller

Radial Loads

Combined Loads

Bearing contact angles vary from zero, in the case of purely radial bearings like the Single Row Deep Groove Ball Bearing, to 90 degrees for the Thrust Ball Bearing, which is intended to accept loads only along the shaft axis (thrust loads). During actual operation, contact angles can vary somewhat from the original design.

In general, manufacturers catalogs refer to outside diameter (O.D.) as D, inside diameter (I.D. or Bore) as d and width as B. Manufacturers part numbers are generally located on the bearings side faces.

The lands are often used by manufacturers for cage guidance. Raceways are the normally loaded working area of the bearing, where the rolling elements, separated by a lubricating film, contact the inner and outer rings during normal operation. Cages are generally not designed to transmit power. They reduce friction by separating and guiding the rolling elements.

Load Magnitude
The magnitude of the load is the primary factor in determining the bearing size. Generally, roller bearings are able to support heavier loads than ball bearings with the same envelope dimensions and bearings, with a full complement of rolling elements, can take heavier loads than corresponding caged bearings. Ball bearings are typically used where loads are light or moderate; for heavy loads, where large-diameter shafts are used roller bearings are more appropriate.

Ball and Roller Bearing Ranges

Load Direction
Radial Load Most radial bearings can carry some axial load in addition to radial loads, with the exception of: Cylindrical roller bearings, which have one ring without flanges (NU and N types) CARB Radial needle roller bearings, which are only suitable for purely radial loads Axial Load - Thrust ball bearings and fourpoint contact ball bearings are most suitable for light and moderate pure axial loads. Single direction thrust ball bearings can only accommodate loads acting in one direction. For loads acting in both directions, double direction bearings are necessary. Angular contact thrust ball bearings can support moderate axial loads at high speeds, and single direction bearings can also accommodate simultaneously acting radial loads, while double direction bearings are normally used only for purely axial loads. For moderate and heavy axial loads acting in one

The basic range of bearing types is illustrated above. Note, in the ball bearing range the raceway configuration gives the bearing its main characteristics. The roller shape defines the main features of the roller bearing group.

Load Capabilities
The greater the area of rolling element contact, the higher the load capability. This is the converse of speed ratings.

direction, suitable bearings are needle roller thrust bearings, single direction cylindrical and taper roller thrust bearings, and spherical roller thrust bearings, which can also accommodate radial loads. For heavy alternating axial loads, two cylindrical roller thrust bearings or two spherical roller thrust bearings can be mounted adjacent to each other. Combined Load - A combined load comprises a radial and an axial load acting simultaneously. A bearings ability to carry axial load is determined by its angle of contact (alpha). The greater the angle, the more suitable the bearing for axial loads. The axial load carrying capacity of deep groove ball bearings depends on the bearing internal clearance. For combined loads, single and double row angular contact ball bearings and single row taper roller bearings are most commonly used, although deep groove ball bearings and spherical roller bearings are also suitable. In addition, self-aligning ball bearings and cylindrical roller bearings of the NJ and NUP types along with the NJ and NU types with HJ angle rings can be used to a certain extent for combined loads. Where axial loads pre dominate, four-point contact ball bearings, spherical roller thrust bearings and crossed taper or crossed cylindrical roller bearings are appropriate. Single row angular contact ball bearings and taper roller bearings, NJ type cylindrical roller bearings and spherical roller thrust bearings can only accommodate axial loads acting in one direction. For alternating loads, these bearings must be combined with a second bearing. Consequently, single row angular contact ball bearings are available for universal pairing and as matched sets comprising two single row bearings. When the axial component of combined loads is large, it may be supported independently of the radial load by a second bearing. In addition to the specialized thrust bearings, some radial bearings (e.g. deep groove or four-point contact ball bearings) are suitable for this task. To make sure the bearing is only subjected to the

axial load in such cases, the outer ring must be mounted with a clearance fit in the housing. Moment Load - When the load acts eccentrically on the bearing, tilting moments will arise. Double row bearings (e.g. deep groove or angular contact ball bearings) can take up tilting moments, but paired single row angular contact ball bearings or taper roller bearings arranged face-to-face, or better still back-to-back, are more suitable, as are crossed cylindrical and crossed taper roller bearings.

Angular misalignment between shaft and housings occur, for example, when the shaft bends under the operating load, when the bearing seatings in the housing are not machined at a single setting, or when shafts are supported by bearings in separate housings that are far apart. The so-called rigid bearings cannot accommodate any misalignment, or can only accommodate very slight misalignments without the application of force. On the other hand, self-aligning bearings (e.g. self-aligning ball bearings, spherical roller bearings, spherical roller thrust bearings, and CARB) can accommodate misalignments produced under operating loads and can compensate for alignment errors resulting from machining or mounting. Values for the permissible misalignments are given in the introductory texts of the table sections of the General Catalog. If the expected misalignment exceeds the permissible values, SKF should be contacted. Thrust ball bearings with sphered housing washers and seating washers, as well as Ybearings fitted in their appropriate housings, can compensate for initial misalignment errors arising from machining or mounting. They are not intended to accept dynamic misalignment.

Relative Speed Limitations

The relative speed capabilities of each basic bearing type can be seen. The chart above shows the limits for grease, oil, and the

maximum speed limitations. As a generalization, the larger the rolling element/raceway contact the lower the speed rating. Not only the bearing type, but also many other considerations, such as the type and quantity of lubrication, affect the limiting factors. The bearing component materials and lubricant generally specify the upper operating temperature range of the bearing.

There is a limit to the speed at which rolling bearings can operate. Generally, it is the operating temperature, which can be permitted, with respect to the lubricant being used or to the material of the bearing components, that sets the limit. The speed at which this bearing temperature is reached depends on the frictional heat generated in the bearing (including any externally applied heat) and the amount of heat that can be transported away from the bearing. Bearing type and size, internal design, load, lubrication and cooling conditions, along with cage design, accuracy and internal clearance, all play a part in determining the permissible speed.

Speed Ratings
Speed ratings for grease and oil lubrication are quoted in General Catalog bearing tables. The speed rating for a given bearing represents the speed at which, under a load corresponding to an L10h life of 150,000 hours, there is a balance between the heat which can be removed from the bearing via the shaft and housing (and sometimes via the lubricant) and the heat generated in the bearing by friction at a given temperature interval above ambient.

Factor fn Deep groove ball bearings, without 3 seals Self-aligning ball bearings, without 1.5 seals Angular contact ball bearings, single 1.5 row Cylindrical roller bearings (with cage) 2.2 Needle roller bearings, without seals 1.5 CARB (with cage) 1.5 Spherical roller bearings, without seals 1.5 Taper roller bearings 2 Thrust ball bearings 1.4 Cylindrical roller thrust bearings 2 Needle roller thrust bearings 2 Spherical roller thrust bearings 3 All other bearing types 1 Speed ratings apply to bearings where the inner ring rotates. Some reduction may be necessary where bearings operate with a rotating outer ring. This is taken into account where track runner bearings are concerned, as these are generally required to operate under such conditions (stationary inner ring). The speed rating is the first threshold to be reached with almost all bearing types. Beyond this rating, other criteria have a stronger influence, depending on bearing type. These criteria include the form stability or strength of the cage, lubrication of cage guiding surfaces, centrifugal and gyratory forces acting on the rolling elements, and other speed-limiting factors. Another threshold is set by the choice of grease. The base oil viscosity and thickener determine the lubricants shear strength, which in turn determines the permissible operating speed for the particular bearing. For high speed bearing arrangements, all components, particularly those which rotate, must have a higher than normal accuracy to allow for vibrating behavior. Special cage designs may also be required. Experience gained from practical applications indicates there are maximum speeds that should not be exceeded, for technical reasons or

Bearing type

because of the very high costs involved. Guideline values for these maximum speeds are obtained for various bearing types by multiplying the speed ratings given in the bearing tables by a factor fn, which can be found in the adjacent table. Remember that if bearings are to function satisfactorily, particularly at high speeds, they must be subjected to a given minimum load.

Special Cases
In certain applications, the speed rating is superseded in importance by other considerations. Low Speeds - At very low speeds, it is impossible for an elastohydrodynamic lubricant film to build up in the contacts between rolling elements and raceways. In such applications, lubricants with EP additives should generally be used. Oscillating Rotary Movements - With this type of movement, the direction of rotation changes before a complete revolution of the bearing has been accomplished. Since rotational speed is zero at the point where the direction of rotation is reversed, a full hydrodynamic lubricant film cannot be maintained. In such cases, it is important to use a lubricant containing effective EP additives to obtain a boundary lubrication able to support loads. It is impossible to give a limit or rating for the speed of such oscillating movements, as the upper limit is dictated by inertia forcers rather than a heat. With each reversal of direction, there is a danger of the rolling element complement, because of its inertia, sliding for a short period and damaging the raceways by smearing. The permissible accelerations and decelerations depend on the mass of the rolling elements and cage, the type and quantity of lubricant, the operational clearance, and the bearing load. For example, for connecting rod bearing arrangements, preloaded bearings incorporating relatively small rolling elements with a small mass are used. General guidelines cannot be given; therefore, it is necessary to

analyze the movements more precisely in individual cases (it is advisable to contact the SKF application engineering service). Stationary Conditions - When rolling bearings are at a standstill for longer periods, and are caused to vibrate by externally applied forces, minute movements in the rolling element / raceway contacts produce surface damage. This damage may be noticed as a marked increase in bearing noise during subsequent operation. This can lead to premature fatigue failure of the bearing. Such damage must be avoided, for example, by insulating the bearing arrangement from external vibrations, by unloading it by suitable means during transportation, or by providing some means of keeping the unloaded bearings in rotation at a slow speed. Experience has shown that oil lubrication is more favorable than grease lubrication in such cases.

Bearing Cages
The development of cages was a key advance in bearing technology. It allowed rolling element separation and guidance, substantially reducing friction and heat.

Cage Functions

Modern rolling element bearings did not exist until the cage was invented in the late 1800s. It allowed the rolling elements to remain separated, reducing friction and heat.


Function of the Cage

Rolling bearing cages are mechanically stressed by friction, strain, and inertia forces. They may also be subject to the chemical action of certain lubricants, lubricant additives or products of their aging, organic solvents, coolants (halogenated hydrocarbons, ammonia), etc. Thus, the design and choice of material are of paramount importance for the performance of the cage, and for the operational reliability of the bearing as a whole.

Nearly all rolling element bearings have cages whose main functions are to keep the bearing together and prevent contact between the contrarotating rolling elements. The cage also carries the rolling element through the unloaded zone of the bearing and helps to guide the rolling elements.

Cage Variants

Materials for Cages

Where bearings are of a separable design, the cage also serves to retain the rolling elements when one bearing ring is removed during mounting or dismounting. In some bearing types, e.g. needle roller bearings or cylindrical roller thrust bearings, the cage also serves to guide the rolling elements. It aligns them in such a manner that they roll with a minimum of friction. In grease-lubricated bearings, some of the grease inside the bearing will adhere to the cage, forming a lubricant reservoir and ensuring good lubrication of the bearings operating surfaces. The cage is centered either on the rolling elements or on one of the bearing rings, and is thus radially guided. Pressed steel or brass cages are generally centered on the rolling elements. Inner or outer ring centered machined cages generally permit operation at higher speeds and are necessary when movements additional to pure rotational are superimposed, particularly when high acceleration conditions prevail. Suitable steps must be taken (e.g. oil lubrication) to ensure there is sufficient lubricant supply to the cages guiding surfaces, and to the inside of the bearing. The above graphic shows three variants of cages for a cylindrical roller bearing. Each has certain attributes that make it suitable for specific applications. Cages can be located on the inner ring, rolling elements or outer ring. Speed, lubrication requirements and exposure to high vibration are some of the influences in the selection of a particular cage type.

Standard Cages
As rolling bearings have developed, various cage types and designs for the different bearing types and sizes have emerged. Cages differ in form, material, manufacturing methods, cost of production, and operational limits. One particular cage design is established as the standard for each of the bearings shown in the General Catalog bearing tables. The standard cage is always proven in service, and is the design considered most suitable for the majority of applications. With reference to the viability of production, the costs and different application areas of the bearings, the standard cage for the larger bearings may be different from that for the smaller bearings in the same series.


In the text preceding each table section, information is provided regarding the standard cages with which the bearings are fitted, and the possible alternatives. If a bearing with a nonstandard cage is required, it is always advisable to check availability before ordering.

Polyamide Cages

Polyamide cages that are reinforced with glass fiber have some unique qualities. They are lightweight and flexible, and are very tolerant of poor lubrication conditions. They should not be used at high temperatures, over 100o C (210 F), and are vulnerable to heavy impact loads. They are only found in high volume types, since production tooling is very expensive. Some small- and medium-sized bearings are fitted with molded cages of heat-stabilized, glass fiber reinforced polyamide 6.6 as standard. This material is characterized by a favorable combination of strength and elasticity. The good sliding properties of the plastic on lubricated steel surfaces, and the smoothness of the cage surfaces in contact with the rolling elements keep cage friction low, which in turn, keeps heat generation and wear in the bearing to a minimum. The low density of the material keeps the inertia of the cage small. The injection molding process used to produce the cages allows functionally suitable designs to be made. The excellent running properties of polyamide cages under lubricant starvation conditions permit continued operation of the bearing for a time, with minimum risk of seizure and secondary damage. When using bearings with polyamide cages, the permissible operating temperatures for the material and its resistance to the lubricant used

must be observed. At operating temperatures up to the values given in the General Catalog for the various oils and greases used as bearing lubricants, cage properties are unaffected. If the permissible temperature is exceeded, the cage material will age. The longer the cage is exposed to the excessive temperature, the more accelerated is this process. Brief periods at up to 20 C above the recommended maximum temperatures can be tolerated, provided they are interspersed with longer periods at operating temperatures below the recommended values, and provided the maximum operating temperature for the lubricant is not exceeded. When operating temperatures are constantly above 120 C, bearings fitted with metallic cages must be used. Polyamide cages are also unsuitable for operating temperatures below 40 C, as they lose their elasticity. Organic solvents normally used to clean rolling bearings, such as white spirit or trichloroethane, do not affect cage properties, neither do dilute alkaline cleaners (e.g. soda) which are used at room temperature for a short period of time. The fluorocarbons or ammonia used in refrigeration do not attack polyamide. Additionally, in vacuum polyamide cages become brittle as they dehydrate.

Window Type Sheet Steel Cages

These cages are strong and lightweight with no temperature limitations. In poor lubrication conditions, wear will be more rapid than with other cage materials. Pressed cages of steel sheet are standard for many ball bearings, spherical roller bearings, and most taper roller bearings. These cages have relatively high strength and weigh little.


They may be hardened and surface treated to reduce friction and wear. Machined steel cages are used for large-size bearings or where the application conditions are such that there would be a danger of season cracking if pressed brass cages were used (e.g. in ammonia). To improve sliding and wear resistance properties, some machined steel cages are surface hardened by carbonitriding. Steel cages can be used at operating temperatures up to 300 C. They are not affected by the mineral or synthetic oil-based lubricants normally used for rolling bearings or by organic solvents used to clean bearings, and there is a risk of corrosion where water is present. Pressed steel cages are not recommended for use with ammonia.

brass cages are unsuitable for these applications. One-piece machined brass cages must be used instead.

Other Cage Materials

In addition to the materials described above, SKF bearing cages for special applications may be made from other engineering plastics, light alloys, or special cast iron. Closures extend the life of the bearing by keeping lubricants in and contamination out. There are three basic types: shields, non-contact seals and land riding lip seals.

Window Type Solid Brass Cages


Solid brass cages are costly to machine and are usually restricted to small batch production. They are highly resistant to wear and shock loads, and are often found in hazardous environments. Pressed brass cages are used for some small-and medium-sized bearings and as a standard alternative for many angular contact ball bearings. Machined brass cages from cast or wrought material are often used for larger-sized bearings of all types. Brass cages should not be used at temperatures in excess of 300 C. They are unaffected by most commonly used bearing lubricants, including synthetic oils and greases, and can be cleaned using normal organic solvents. The use of alkaline cleaning agents is not recommended. Ammonia (e.g. in refrigeration) causes season cracking in pressed brass; therefore pressed

Most bearings are coated with slushing compound for protection during packaging, transport and storage. Sealed bearings are generally filled 1/3 full with polyurea based grease. SKF slushes are compatible with standard mineral and most synthetic grease. Special flouroelastomer greases may require slush removal prior to installation. Contact SKF for details.


Bearing Basics
Rolling Bearings are Precision Products

Although all standard bearings are high precision products, even higher grades of accuracy are obtainable depending on application requirements. This graphic shows the tolerance classes in which bearings are available.

Precision Classes
Two general classes for precision tolerances exist: ABEC (Annular Bearing engineers Committee) and ISO (International Standards Organization). The basic equivalents are presented in the following table: ABEC ISO 1 Normal 3 5 7 9 P6 P5 P4 P3

Internal Clearances

All rolling bearings require internal radial clearances to help ensure satisfactory operation. There are some exceptions, such as machine tools. The illustration shows the clearance in a deep groove ball bearing. Clearance values are generally to ISO standard, and values for each bearing type can be found in the SKF General Catalogue. Bearing internal clearance is defined as the total distance through which one bearing ring can be moved relative to the other in the radial


direction (radial internal clearance) or in the axial direction (axial internal clearance). It is necessary to distinguish between the internal clearance of a bearing before mounting and the internal clearance in a mounted bearing which has reached its operating temperature (operational clearance). The initial internal clearance (before mounting) is normally greater than the operational clearance. The different degrees of interference in the fits and the differences in thermal expansion of the bearing rings and their associated components cause the rings to expand or compress. A bearings radial internal clearance is of considerable importance for satisfactory operation. As a rule, ball bearings should have an operational clearance that is virtually zero, or there may be a slight preload. On the other hand, cylindrical and spherical roller bearings should always have some residual clearance, however small, in operation. The same is true of taper roller bearings, except in bearing arrangements where stiffness is desired (e.g. pinion bearing arrangements) and the bearings are mounted with a certain degree of preload. The bearing internal clearance referred to as Normal has been selected to obtain a suitable operational clearance when bearings are mounted with the recommended fits, and when operating conditions are normal. Where operating and mounting conditions differ from the normal (e.g. where interference fits are used for both bearing rings, unusual temperatures prevail etc.), bearings with greater or smaller internal clearance than Normal are required. In such cases, it is recommended that the residual clearance in the bearing should be checked after it has been mounted. Bearings with an internal clearance other than Normal are identified by the suffixes C1 to C5. **Reminder: Clearances are not the same as precision classes.**

C1 - Less than C2 clearance C2 - less than normal clearance (CN, C0) normal clearance (not generally marked) C3 - greater than normal clearance (standard) C4 - greater than C3 clearance C5 - greater than C4 clearance Example: A 6210 /C3 Ball bearing has from 18 - 36 m (microns) or 0.0007 - 0.0014 Radial Internal Clearance

For certain bearing types, radial clearance is sometimes presented in catalogs as axial clearance, also called end play.

A 5210 / C3 Ball Bearing has 33 - 54 m (microns) or 0.0013 0.0021 Axial Internal Clearance

Special clearances are sometimes available (e.g., C2H). Sometimes nomenclature is combined: ABEC: C783 = C78 (ABEC 5) + C3 P62 = ISO P6 + C2

Effects of Temperature
Expansion rates vary with the material; for example, aluminum expands faster than steel.

Internal Clearance: Range and Reasons

Initial radial clearance is present to compensate for the effects on the bearing of the interference fits to shaft and/or housing, and the temperature differentials that can occur between the inner and outer rings.



Effects of Internal Preload Clearance on Bearing Life



Reduced radial clearance

Clearance range
C1 Clearance less than C2 C2 Clearance less than Normal C3 Clearance grater than Normal C4 Clearance grater than C3 C5 Clearance grater than C4



Across the wide operational range of speed, load and temperature in which bearings operate the radial internal clearance requirement varies greatly. A range of clearances from C1 through C5 is available to provide for these conditions. Bearing components under load act like springs. When a bearing is mounted with a press fit on the shaft, the shaft will compress slightly, and the inner ring of the bearing will expand slightly, reducing clearance in the bearing. Once the application begins running, friction heat may further reduce clearance. The remainder is considered the operational clearance in the bearing. In some cases, all the clearance is removed and the rings and rolling elements are in full contact with one another, with the various components under compression. This condition is known as Preload.

Clearances that are too large result in reduced bearing life. Bearings that have too little initial clearance or are preloaded can suffer catastrophic failure on start from excessive temperature differentials occurring between the rings.

Load Distribution due to Clearance Changes

Preload vs. Clearance

Preload is sometimes desirable, as in heavily loaded pumps. The designer will generally err on the side of safety, choosing an initial bearing clearance that leaves a slight operational clearance. Relative bearing life decreases very rapidly if the bearing is preloaded. Excess clearance reduces overall bearing life at a much lower rate.

The optimum bearing life is achieved around zero clearance at operational speeds and loads. If clearances are too great, the stress concentration within the bearing increases due to reduced number of rolling elements in raceway contact in the load zone. An increase in the arc that the unloaded rollers move through creates additional loads on the cage and cage pockets.


Bearing Selection Criteria

Why was a particular bearing chosen to do the job? Sometimes the wrong bearing is selected for the application. Causes for improper bearing selection include lack of application knowledge and unanticipated parasitic loads. The General Catalog provides guidance for designers in choosing the correct bearing type(s) to meet application requirements. Power density is roughly the amount of load that can be carried by a bearing in a given space. Generally, designers prefer greater power density, as it is more economical.

Bearing Selection Factors

The application engineer must consider many factors when determining the best bearing selection for a given application. The most obvious and straightforward include load/direction of load, speed, space, misalignment, required life, and operating conditions.

Depending on its design, each type of bearing displays characteristic properties that make it more, or less, appropriate for a given application. For example, deep groove ball bearings can accommodate moderate radial loads along with axial loads. They have low friction and can be produced with high precision. Therefore, they are preferred for small- and medium-sized electric motors. Spherical roller bearings can carry very heavy loads and are self-aligning. These properties make them popular for application in heavy engineering, where heavy loads produce deformations and . However, in many cases several factors must be considered and weighed against each other when selecting bearing type. No general rules can be given. Special catalogs are available for bearing types that are not included in the SKF General Catalog (e.g. fixed section bearings).


Example: Catalogue Selection

This example is for deep groove ball bearings with shields, in the d 25 70 mm range. The bore size (d) denotes the bearing size. The other boundary dimensions are the outside diameter(D) and width (B). The basic load ratings are shown next dynamic (C) and static (C0). The fatigue load limit shows the dynamic load, below which infinite life applies (under ideal operating conditions). Next are the recommended speed ratings for grease and oil, then the bearing mass, and finally the designation.

Bearing Downsizing

Available Space
In many cases, one of the principal dimensions of the bearing, generally the bore diameter, is predetermined by machine design. For small-diameter shafts, all types of ball bearings can be used, the most popular being deep groove ball bearings. Needle roller bearings are also suitable. For large-diameter shafts, cylindrical, spherical, and taper roller bearings are available, along with deep groove ball bearings. When radial space is limited, bearings with a small cross section, particularly those with a low cross-sectional height must be chosen (e.g. bearings of Diameter Series 8 or 9). Special mention can be made of needle roller and cage assemblies, drawn cup needle roller bearings, and needle roller bearings without (or with) inner ring. Certain series of deep groove and angular contact ball bearings, cylindrical and spherical roller bearings; CARB, and the bearings listed in the SKF catalog Thin section bearings are all suitable. When space is limited in the axial direction, certain series of single row cylindrical roller bearings and deep groove ball bearings can be used for radial and combined loads. For purely axial loads, needle roller and cage thrust assemblies, needle roller thrust bearings, and certain series of thrust ball bearings and cylindrical roller thrust bearings can be used.

Bearing size has decreased as bearings have improved. The newer bearings can handle the same load, at higher speeds, than older designs. Maintenance-wise, however, more caution is necessary with these bearings. The same amount of contamination or handling damage to newer, smaller bearings will cause a greater reduction in life than on a larger, older design.

Bearing Life Determination

What is a cyclic shear stress? Cyclic shear stress is a similar to the concept of breaking a wire. In order to break a wire, it needs only to be bent repeatedly. The metal fatigues, then breaks. Bearings work the same way. For example, there are two pieces of wire of the same diameter. By bending one quickly and the other slowly, using the same bending angle, the wire being bent quickly undergoes more stresses (fatigue cycles) over the same period of time, and will break first. Bearings fatigue the same way with respect to speed - bearing life is inversely proportional to speed. If we double the speed, life is halved. With two new wires, one is bent 90 degrees, the other ten degrees, at the same speed. Since the wire being bent 90 degrees had a greater load, it will fail much earlier. In the case of bearings, the life changes at a much greater rate when load is altered than from a similar change in speed. As will be seen during the exploration of the life equations, small changes in the applied load result in large variations in predicted life.


However, the SKF New Life Method also predicts that if we stress the bearing below a specific minimum load, it may never fail.

Bearing Fatigue Failure

Rolling loads generate cyclic elastic deformation in the raceways and rolling elements. The resultant shear stresses, which occur just below the surface, cause metallurgical changes. These promote fractures to progress to the surface, causing small pieces of the bearing material to become detached. As damage increases, the failed bearing will eventually need to be replaced.

Bearing Life Calculation

ISO Life Rating

Fatigue Life
Bearing fatigue life is defined as the moment when the onset of fatigue spalling on either the raceways or rolling elements occurs. It is impossible to determine exactly when any individual bearing will fail, but it has been established by testing that in any representative batch of identical bearings, a pattern of failure will emerge that is statistically significant. The first 10 percent of bearing failures establish the L10 life. The spread of subsequent failure is such that the median of failure will be approximately five times greater than the first 10 percent. Some bearings will continue to run for much longer. These tests are conducted under controlled conditions and do not represent actual service life, which can be influenced by many other factors.

ISO Catalog Rated Bearing Life (C) is determined by the overall size of the bearing, size, shape and number of rows of rolling elements, the contact angle of rolling element with the raceway, and the materials used in the bearing.

Basic Load Ratings

The basic dynamic load rating C is used for calculations involving dynamically stressed bearings (e.g. when selecting a bearing which is to rotate under load). It expresses the bearing load that will give an ISO basic rating life (defined below) of one million revolutions.


The basic dynamic load ratings of SKF bearings have been determined in accordance with the methods prescribed by ISO 281:1990 / Amd.1:2000 and ABMA Stds. 9 and 11. Values are based on the material and manufacturing techniques used for SKF standard production. They apply to loads that are constant in magnitude and direction, for radial bearings radial loads, and for thrust bearings axial loads that act centrically. The basic static load rating C0 is used in calculations when bearings are to rotate at very slow speeds, to be subjected to very slow oscillating movements, or to be stationary under load during certain periods. It must also be taken into account when heavy shock loads of short duration act on a rotating (dynamically stressed) bearing. The basic static load rating is defined in accordance with ISO 76-1990 as the static load which corresponds to a calculated contact stress

at the center of the most heavily loaded rolling element / raceway contact of: - 4,600 MPa for self-aligning ball bearings - 4,200 MPa for all other ball bearings - 4,000 MPa for all roller bearings This stress produces a total permanent deformation of rolling element and raceway that is approximately 0.0001 of the rolling element diameter. The loads are purely radial for radial bearings and centrically acting axial loads for thrust bearings.

Load Carrying Capacity and Life

The size of a bearing used for an application is initially selected based upon its load carrying capacity in relation to the loads to be carried and the requirements regarding life and reliability. Numerical values for basic load ratings are used in the calculations to express load carrying capacity. Values for the basic dynamic load rating C and the basic static load rating C0 are quoted in the General Catalog bearing tables.

The L10 life of a rolling bearing in a given application can be established using the ISO basic life equation:
C L10 = P where


C 1/p = L10 P

L10 = basic rating life, millions of revolutions C = basic dynamic load rating P = equivalent dynamic bearing load p = exponent of the life equation p = 3 for ball bearings p = 10/3 for roller bearings


For bearings operating at constant speed it may be more convenient to deal with a basic rating life expressed in operating hours using the equation:
L10 = 1 000 000 C 60 n P
1 000 000 L10 60 n

L10h =

described in the General Catalog, for the following example: What size bearing(s) would meet the following requirements: Type: Deep Groove Ball Bearing Life Required: 50,000 Hours Speed: 3,600 RPM Radial Load (P) : 1000 lbs.

where L10h = n =

Bearing Selection Nomogram



basic rating, operating hours rotational speed, r/min The Nomogram method gives 2 significant digits of accuracy. (Note: there are two sets of nomograms: the left set for Ball Bearings, the

When the speed is doubled, life is reduced by . When the load is doubled, life is reduced almost 90 percent. A 20 percent increase in load reduces roller bearing life by 54 percent. A general conclusion can be made: altering the applied load dramatically affects the life of the bearing, changes in speed affect life linearly.

The P value for average applications is five to ten percent of the C value, with the result that designers generally choose load ratios (C/P) in the normal range, between eight and 20. This meets the applications required life without applying more bearing than necessary to do the job.

Bearing Capacity Selection Dynamic Loads

There are several methods to estimate the proper bearing size for a given rotating application. The usual method involves selecting the proper load ratio, given a known load, desired life, and speed. Several methods will be used, as

right for Roller Bearings.) Using the given speed (3600 RPM) and L10 operating hours (50,000), find C/P in the middle column with a straightedge. The value is 22. To determine the required dynamic load capacity, multiply the load ratio by the given applied load, in this case, 4450N (1,000 lbs). C/P x P = 22 x1000 = 97,900N (22,000 lbs)


Now go to the Deep Groove Ball Bearing section of the General Catalog and choose an appropriate bearing with at least 97,900N (22,000 lbs.) dynamic capacity (C). One possible solution would be an SKF 6219 Deep Groove Ball Bearing.

requirements (boundary dimensions, etc.). Note that this is the simplest of calculations, using a single, known load. Contact SKF Applications Engineering Service for assistance with more complex bearing selection and design requirements.

Bearing Selection Using Load Ratio Charts

Adjusted Life Equation

With the adjusted rating life equation, the influence of bearing load on the life of a given bearing is considered. Where the rolling bearings listed in this catalog are used in conventional applications, a calculation of the basic rating life L10 is adequate, since the recommendations regarding requisite life are based on experience and, in fact, consider factors such as lubrication. It may, however, be desirable to consider other factors influencing bearing life in more detail. ISO and ABMA introduced a revised life equation to this end. This adjusted rating life equation is
C Lna = a1a2 a3 P

or simply In the SKF General Catalog, note that the chart is broken in half, the upper section for lower speed, the other for higher speeds. Using the information from the example, find the column by locating the speed (3600 rpm) at the top of the chart. Find the desired operating hours (50,000) on the left side of the chart. The intersection of the column and row gives the C/P value: 22.1. Multiply the C/P value by the load (1000 lb.) to get the required minimum basic dynamic load rating. C P = 22.1 x 1000 = 22,100 lbs. P An appropriate bearing may be selected from the General Catalog. Although a 6219 bearing was previously selected, other bearings could have been chosen based on application Lna = a1a2 a3 L10 where Lna = adjusted rating life, millions of revolutions (the index n represents the difference between the requisite reliability1) and 100 percent) a1 = life adjustment factor for reliability a2 = life adjustment factor for material a3 = life adjustment factor for operating conditions This life method was more frequently used prior to 1989. For historical purposes, the adjusted rating life is explained below. A calculation of the adjusted rating life presupposed that the operating conditions were well defined and that the bearing loads could be accurately calculated, i.e. the calculations


should have considered the load spectrum, shaft deflection, etc. For the generally accepted reliability of 90 percent and for bearing materials to which the C values correspond, and for normal operating conditions, a1 = a2 = a3 = 1 and the equations for the basic and adjusted rating lives became identical. 1) Reliability is the probability that a bearing will attain or exceed a specified life.

Life Adjustment Factor a1

The a1 factor for reliability is used to determine lives other than the L10 life, i.e. lives which are attained or exceeded with a greater probability than 90 percent. Values of a1 are given in the accompanying table. This life factor is also used with the SKF life method.

Life Adjustment Factor a2

When determining SKF basic dynamic load ratings, the fact had been taken into account that the standard steels used by SKF had better life properties than the material on which the equations given in ISO 281/I-1977 and ABMA Standards 9 and 11 were based. When using these load ratings (C values), therefore, a2 = 1. Higher values of a2 could, however, be applied to SKF bearings made of special steels. Reliability 90 95 96 97 98 99 Lna L10a L5a L4a L3a L2a L1a a1 1 0.62 0.53 0.44 0.33 0.21

efficacy of lubrication was primarily determined by the degree of surface separation in the rolling contacts of the bearing. If an adequate loadcarrying lubricant film was to be formed, the lubricant must have had a given minimum viscosity at the operating temperature, i.e. the temperature of the bearing in operation. Under the cleanliness conditions normally prevailing in bearing arrangements which were adequately sealed, the a3 factor was based on the viscosity ratio [kappa, ]. This is defined as the ratio of the actual viscosity to the viscosity 1 required for adequate lubrication, both values being kinematic viscosities at the operating temperature. is also used with the SKF life method. The viscosity 1 required at the operating temperature to ensure adequate lubrication can be determined from the General Catalog provided mineral oil is used. The diagram is also valid for greases based on mineral oils and, in this case, the value of 1 obtained gives the requisite base oil viscosity at the operating temperature. For these calculations, the viscosity should always be expressed in mm2/s (cSt centistokes), rather than in Saybolt Universal Seconds (SUS), as the conversion between these units is nonlinear.

SKF New Life Method

Practical experience and modern research have shown that, under special conditions, SKF bearings attain a much longer life than predicted by standardized life calculation methods, particularly when loads are light. These special conditions apply when the rolling surfaces (raceways and rolling elements) are effectively separated by a lubricant film and when surface damage caused by contaminants is limited. Even infinite life is possible under ideal conditions. The SKF life method introduces the concept of a fatigue load limit Pu, analogous to that used when selecting other machine components. This fatigue load limit represents that load

Life Adjustment Factor a3

The operating conditions factor a3 was essentially determined by bearing lubrication provided bearing operating temperatures were not excessive. Changes in material properties at elevated temperatures were accounted for by reducing the basic dynamic load ratings. The


below which fatigue will not occur in the bearing under ideal conditions. The method represents an extension of the work of Lundberg and Palmgren, taking into account the fatigue load limit and several other factors related to lubrication and contamination. Using the SKF method, it is possible to accurately predict the long bearing life referred to above. However, an accurate prediction can only be made if the operating conditions are accurately known and if the full theory is applied, which requires the use of a computer. Due to complexity, a detailed description of the theory is beyond the scope of this book. However, to pass on the benefits inherent in the deeper understanding of bearing behavior on which the SKF life method is based, a simplified catalogue approach has been devised. This approach enables users to exploit the enhanced life potential of bearings, to undertake controlled downsizing, and to recognize the significance of contaminants. See the SKF General Catalogue for details. These calculations account for life under controlled conditions only. There is no adjustment in the basic life calculation for outside influences (contamination, poor lubrication, vibration, etc.) These external factors reduce actual bearing life below that predicted by the basic life equation.

life (the life equation in this case, for a given equivalent load P would give such a low requisite basic dynamic load rating C, that the bearing selected on this basis would be subjected to considerable overloading in service). 4. The bearing rotates and, in addition to the normal operating loads, has to sustain heavy shock loads which act during a fraction of a revolution. Additional guidance can be found in the SKF General Catalogue or contact SKF applications Engineering Service for assistance.

Static Loads
Bearing size should be selected on the basis of the basic static load rating (C0) when one of the following conditions applies: 1. The bearing is stationary and is subjected to continuous or intermittent (shock) loads. 2. The bearing makes slow oscillating or alignment movements under load.

3. The bearing rotates under load at very slow speed and is only required to have a short


Correct Fits

Types of Rotation

It is important to establish the type of rotation, i.e. which ring rotates and which is stationary, as this defines what type of fit is required for each ring. To prevent creep, which can damage the bearing and the shaft or housing, the rotating ring requires an interference fit, and the stationary ring a transition or loose fit. For vibration applications and out-of-balance loads, the stationary ring can also require an interference fit. This type of application is referred to as direction of rotation indeterminate.
The radial location of the bearing rings is extremely important to the performance of the bearing. The rings are relatively thin and without proper support from the shaft and housing will distort and result in early failure.

Bearing manufacturers have, over many years of development and experience, established a range of shaft and housing fits that apply to the various bearing applications. To achieve satisfactory bearing performance, it is important that the specified shaft and housing fits are applied and bearings with the correct clearance values are used.

Effect of Loose Fit

The effect of only a 0.01 mm clearance between shaft and inner ring bore can be very significant in a rotating inner ring application. If there is no wear, which would increase the effect, a


relative movement of approximately two kilometers will occur over 30 days in the example given. In practice, wear would occur, and the movement would increase proportionally.

the method of axial locating the fixed bearing by the use of locating rings. It must be stressed that only one bearing per shaft section is located this way.

Minimum Load Axial Location of Rolling Bearings

Axial location of the shaft must be achieved in all bearing arrangements. This is usually done by axially fixing one bearing and allowing axial freedom to the other bearing(s). This allows for changes in length of the shaft caused by thermal expansion or contraction. In some applications, this expansion is accommodated by the type of bearings used; for example, cylindrical roller bearings. Often the bearing outer ring is a loose or transition fit to allow the complete bearing to move axially as required. This is another important reason why the correct fit must be used.

Axial Freedom in a Fan

Although rolling bearings are primarily designed to minimize friction, they still require some friction to function correctly. They can be considered a friction gear machine. To ensure there is sufficient traction within the bearing to overcome the resistance to rolling, a minimum load condition must apply. This is usually achieved by the weight of the shaft. However, resistance to rolling can be affected by all of the following: the drag of the lubricant (particularly in very cold conditions); the friction within the cage pockets; the inertia of the rolling elements; and the amount of internal clearance in the bearing.

SKF Bearing Designations

The basic designation identifies:
Product type Standard design Size

The supplementary designation identifies:

This fan is a good practical example of how the requirement for axial freedom in the non-located bearing housing is achieved. The graphic shows

Alternative design (variants) Bearing components Types of special bearings


Supplementary designations identify variations and changes from standards, and can be specific to the manufacturer.

Width and Diameter Variations

Bearings can be designed with proportions that vary significantly. For example, changes made in the width and/or height for a given bore diameter will result in a needle roller bearing, rather than a cylindrical roller bearing. To enable economic production of high quality bearings, it is necessary to limit the number of variants to a standard range.

ISO Standards
Manufacturers and users of rolling bearings are, for price, quality, and ease of replacement reasons, only interested in a limited number of bearing sizes. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has therefore determined Dimension Plans for the boundary dimensions of metric rolling bearings The ISO Dimension Plan for radial bearings (except taper roller bearings) contains a progressive series of standardized outside diameters for every standard bore size arranged in Diameter Series 7, 8, 9, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 (in order of ascending size). Within each Diameter Series, different Width Series have also been established (Width Series 8, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in order of increasing width). The Width

Series for radial bearings correspond to the Height Series for thrust bearings (Height Series 7, 9, 1 and 2 in ascending order of bearing height). By combining a Diameter Series with a Width or Height Series, we arrive at Dimension Series, designated by two figures. The first figure indicates the Width or Height Series, the second the Diameter Series. In the ISO Dimension Plan for single row metric taper roller bearings, the boundary dimensions are grouped for certain ranges of the contact angle (alpha), known as the Angle Series (Angle Series 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in order of increasing angle). Based on the relationship between outside and bore diameters, and between the total bearing width and the cross-sectional height, Diameter and Width Series have also been established. Here, Dimension Series are obtained by combining the Angle Series with a Diameter and a Width Series. These Dimension Series are designated by a combination of one figure (for the Angle Series) and two letters (the first for the Diameter Series, the second for the Width Series). With very few exceptions dictated by rolling bearing development, the bearings listed in the General Catalogue comply with ISO Dimension Plans. Experience has shown that the requirements of the vast majority of bearing arrangements are met using bearings with these standardized dimensions. Some sizes of English (non-metric) dimension bearings are still being manufactured.

Chamfer Dimensions
The chamfer dimensions in the radial direction (r1, r3) and axial direction (r2, r4) quoted in the bearing tables are the prescribed minimum values according to ISO 582-1979 and ABMA 20 (i.e. nominal values are no longer given). The appropriate maximum chamfer limits important when dimensioning fillet radii are found in the tables under Limits for chamfer dimensions in the General Catalogue. Interchangeability of bearings with earlier and new chamfer dimensions is assured provided the


fillets have been designed in accordance with the recommendations contained in SKF publications.

Diameter Series

The combination of a Diameter Series with a Width or Height Series results in a Dimension Series, e.g. Dimension Series 02 is the Width Series 0 and the Diameter Series 2. Dimension Series 13 is the Width Series 1 combined with the Diameter Series 3.

How the Designation System Works

The ISO Dimension Plans state that for each standard bore size, a series of outside diameters apply. These are arranged in ascending order: Radial bearings Diameter Series = 8, 9, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 Taper roller bearings Diameter Series = 9, 0, 2 and 3 Single row thrust bearings Diameter Series = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Most bearing designations consist of five figures. As a rule, the first figure indicates the

Relationship: Diameter and Width Series

For each Diameter Series, there is a series of bearing widths arranged in ascending order: Radial bearings Width Series = 0,1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Taper roller bearings Width Series = 0, 2 and 3 Thrust bearings Height Series = 7, 9 and 1, which correspond to the radial bearing Width Series type of bearing, the second figure the Width

Dimension Series

Width Series

Series and third figure the Diameter Series. The two combined represent the Diameter Series. The first three figures together form the bearing series designation. This combination therefore defines each bearing to a particular bearing series. Note in some cases the figure indicating the bearing type and/or the first figure in the Dimension Series is

Diameter Series


omitted. Where these omissions apply is shown in brackets in the illustration. The last two figures represent the bore diameter in mm divided by five. This rule applies to bearings with bore diameters of 20 to 490 mm. For bearings with a bore size less than 10 mm or equal to/greater than 500 mm, the actual bore size is separated from the basic designation by a stroke, e.g. 618/8 (d = 8 mm), or 230/630 (d = 630 mm). For bearings with a bore of 10, 12, 15, or 17 mm: 00 = 10 mm; 01 = 12 mm, 02 = 15 mm; 03 = 17 mm.

The outer ring (cup) and the inner ring and rollers/cage assembly (cone). Each has a separate designation. The designations of both the cone and cup separated by an oblique stroke are required for a complete bearing. SKF inch size taper roller bearing designations are preceded by a K, then letters to define the capacity of the bearing, and then the series designation.

Suffixes: Seals and Shields

Shields Low-friction seals Seals

Bearing Type Designations: Cylindrical Roller Bearings

-Z and -2Z -RZ and -2RZ -RS1 and -2RS1

Contaminant exclusion

Silent running

Grease retention

Speed capability

This is the basic bearing type designation for the cylindrical roller bearing. The letters indicate the various designs, and are followed by three or four figures.

Inch Size Taper Roller Bearings: Cups and Cones

The importance of suffixes to the overall bearing designation is illustrated in these deep groove ball bearings examples. The outer ring is modified at the manufacturing stage to accept the seal or shield. Z or 2Z denotes one or two shields made of sheet steel. They provide non-rubbing protection, and the only temperature restriction is the limitation imposed by the grease used. RS or 2RS indicate one or two seals made of sheet steel and a rubberized cloth, which contacts the inner ring. This arrangement will withstand temperatures up to 80 C (176 F). RS1 or 2RS1 consists of nitrile rubber molded to a reinforcing plate, which can tolerate temperatures between 20 to +100 C (4 to +210 F).

This is a section through a taper rolling bearing assembly showing that same-series cups and cones are interchangeable. Note that the complete bearing consists of two separate parts:


Characteristics of Different Seals

The N suffix bearing has an outer ring machined to accept a snap ring. The suffix NR means that the bearing comes complete with a snap ring. The ring is designed to simplify the axial location of the bearing.

where a rolling element centered cage is needed to prevent the rollers from falling out.

Suffix K

Cage Types
Taper 1:12

Suffix K30

Cages are manufactured using different materials and methods. Which of these are used depend on economic and bearing application considerations. For example, the characteristics of plastic cages make them ideal for many bearings due to their flexibility and low weight and friction. However, high tooling costs restrict their use to bearing types produced in high volume. How the cage is located is very important. For instance, in vibrating equipment applications, using an outer ring land-riding cage can significantly reduce stresses in the cage. Another example is the taper roller bearing,

Taper 1:30

Tapered Bore Suffixes

When the letter K is used as part of the bearing suffix, the bearing has a 1:12 tapered bore. The bore is sized at the small end of the taper according to normal convention. When the suffix K30 is used, the bearing has a standard bore taper of 1:30; this is applied to the very wide series spherical roller bearings, as shown.


Date Codes
The Year Letter to be marked on a bearing or a bearing accessory shall comprise a single letter in accordance with the table below

Comparative Precision Classes

Letter A B C D E F G E J K L M

Year 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921

Year 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945

Year 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969

Year 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

Letter N O P R S T U V W X Y Z

Year 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933

Year 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957

Year 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980

Year 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Due to SKFs continual product development in design, steel quality and manufacturing methods, rolling bearings are regularly up-rated for higher capacity and improved speed capability. Therefore, it is important to use the correct bearing for the application. Beware of old stock being used on new equipment. Date codes are indicated on all bearing boxes.

Tolerances (precision classes) for SKF Bearings

Rolling bearings are made to a range of precision classes which take into account the demands of the many and varied applications. For example, a standard fan application has a much lower precision requirement than a grinding spindle. The precision classes range from (N) the standard quality, to the very high ABEC 9 (SKF equivalent is PA 9). Significantly tighter tolerances exist between each precision class. These affect both internal and external bearing dimensions, and greater accuracy of shaft and housing is required. Bearing manufacturers recommendations on the tolerance grades required for these higher quality bearings must be applied.

Tolerance Definition Definition of a Tolerance: Permissible Limit for the Variation of Size or Dimension
All standard SKF bearings are manufactured to a very high standard of accuracy. It is certain that they are among the most accurate and precisely made bearings available in the industry. Even so, for certain applications, such as high speed machine tools, even higher levels of precision are produced. These high precision products are identified by a suffix following a separating slash in the designation. All manufactured parts are made to a nominal or basic size. Limits must be applied to any size variation to ensure acceptable performance.


Tolerance Grades Table

The above graph represents the ISO range of tolerances in general engineering use. Part of this system is used for shaft and housing tolerances. Along the top of the matrix are the tolerance grades identified by number (IT-01 through IT16). With each grade increase, the tolerance value shown in microns increases by about 50 percent. Down the left hand side the range of nominal sizes are shown graded into 20 steps from 0.0 mm to 3,150 mm. Examples: The tolerance value on a nominal size of 100 mm IT6 is 0,022 mm The tolerance value on a nominal size of 200 mm IT9 is 0,115 mm

Tables will be needed to translate this information into actual dimensional values.

How to Specify Tolerances

This illustrates some examples of specific tolerances: States the nominal dimension The letter defines the tolerance position to zero (it defines the fit). The figure (IT tolerance band) represents the tolerance in microns.


Roller Bearing

Chapter 2 - Ball Bearings

Ball Bearing Types
face-to-face arrangement. The self-aligning ball bearings dynamic alignment capability makes it an indispensable type for applications where separate housings are used, and significant misalignment is present.

Single Row Deep Groove Ball Bearings

Deep groove ball bearings are used in a particularly wide variety of applications. They are simple in design, non-separable, capable of operating at high and even very high speeds, and require little attention or maintenance in service. These characteristics coupled with a price advantage make deep groove ball bearings the most popular of all rolling bearings. A variation of the Single Row Deep Groove (SRDG) is the max type bearing, which is discussed later in this chapter. There are also several other ball bearing variants, which are not covered in this course. Please refer to the SKF catalog for details or contact your local supplier.

Ball Bearing Capabilities

The angular contact ball bearing has unidirectional load capability. For this reason, it is usually mounted in pairs in a back-to-back or

SKF single row deep groove ball bearings have deep, uninterrupted raceways and a high degree of conformity between the balls and raceways. This enables them to carry axial loads in both directions in addition to radial loads, even at high speeds. Single row deep groove ball bearings are suitable for a variety of applications and are produced in a large number of sizes and designs. SRDGBBs accept radial, axial, and combined loads. Their thrust load limit is about 25 percent of the rated radial load. SRDGBBs are available in shielded and sealed designs for contaminant exclusion. They accept only very slight misalignment: ten minutes of arc (1/6th of a degree) or less. Some SRDGBB sizes are available with filling slots for maximum

SKF Center for Learning Bearing Technology

Roller Bearing

capacity. Typical applications include pumps, motors, agricultural equipment, and sports and recreational equipment (in-line skates, skateboards). SRDGBBs are the most widely used bearing type. Single row deep groove ball bearings of the basic design, i.e. open at both sides, are produced by SKF in several series and in a very wide range of diameters. Those bearings of the basic design which are also produced as shielded or sealed bearings may, for manufacturing reasons, have recessed outer ring shoulders to take the shields or seals.

Single Row Deep Groove Closures

Shields Low-friction seals Seals

-Z and -2Z

-RZ and -2RZ

-RS1 and -2RS1

Contaminant exclusion

Silent running

Grease retention

Speed capability

SRDGBB Sample Nomenclature

Example: 6217-2Z/C3GJN
6 - Single row deep groove ball bearing, Conrad style (0)2 - Light dimension series 17 - Multiply by 5 to get the bore in millimeters (works for bore designations 4-96) 2Z - Two shields C3 - Greater than standard radial internal clearance GJN - Special SKF approved grease

Sizes less than xx04: 00 = 10 mm 01= 12 mm 02 = 15 mm 03 = 17 mm Over 480 mm, a / is used: for example: 619/560. The Conrad method is used to assemble SRDGBBs. The outer ring is distorted briefly during assembly to allow the introduction of additional balls.

Bearings with shields or seals (also called closures or caps) at both sides are supplied as standard filled with a grease which has good rust inhibiting properties and which is suitable for operating temperatures between -30 and +110 C (-20 and +230F). The bearings are lubricated for life and maintenance-free. Cleaning is not required before installation. For maintenance-free operation over long periods, the sealed bearings of the wide series 622, 623 and 630 are particularly suitable. The quantity of grease supplied is appropriate to the size of bearing and normally fills between 25 and 35 percent of the free space in the bearing.

Metallic Shields (2Z):

Bearings fitted with metallic shields offer fair grease retention and the lowest frictional torque of any bearing with closures. They provide fair sealing performance (particles > 0.0006) and generally have the same speed rating as the equivalent open bearing.

Low Friction Seals (2RZ)

Bearings of series 618, 619, and some small sizes of series 60 and 62 are equipped with RZ seals. They were developed to meet the requirements for positive sealing with a minimum of friction. The lips of the seals form a very narrow gap with the land of the inner ring shoulder, so the seals are essentially nonrubbing. Because of the low friction, the seals

SKF Center for Learning Bearing Technology

Roller Bearing

permit operation at the same speeds as bearings fitted with Z shields. Their sealing performance is superior to that of Z shields. They offer good grease retention and low friction torque. RZ supplied bearings offer good sealing performance (particles > 0.004) and generally the same speed rating as the equivalent open bearing.

Deep Groove Ball Bearing Speed Ratings

Contact Seals (2RS1)

Bearings containing rubbing seals with designation suffix RS1 or 2RS1 that seal against a recess in the inner ring side face or against the cylindrical surface of the inner ring shoulder are the most common. The standard seals are made of nitrile rubber (NBR) with sheet steel reinforcement. For applications where temperatures or environmental conditions are such that the standard seals are unsuitable, seals made of other materials are also available. The seals are inserted in recesses in the outer ring and provide good sealing at this position without deforming the outer ring. With sealed bearings operating under extreme conditions, e.g. high speeds or high temperatures, grease may leak out between the lip and the inner ring. For applications where this can be a disadvantage, it is necessary to make other design arrangements. RS seals provide excellent grease retention and sealing performance at the cost of high frictional torque and reduced speed rating.

Note that the ultimate speed limit is based on the maximum centrifugal forces the cage can withstand.

Single row deep groove ball bearings have a limited ability to accommodate alignment errors. The permissible angular misalignment between inner and outer rings, which will not produce inadmissibly high additional stresses in the bearing, depends on: The radial internal clearance of the bearing during operation The bearing size The bearings internal design The forces and moments acting on it Due to the complex relationship between these factors, exact values for permissible misalignment cannot be provided. However, under normal service conditions, it is usually between two and ten minutes of arc. Note that misalignment of the bearing rings causes an appreciable increase in noise level when the bearing is running. Double row deep groove ball bearings can only accommodate angular misalignment up to about two minutes of arc. Larger misalignment subjects the balls and raceways to increased and unacceptable loading, shortening bearing life.

Bearings with Snap Ring Groove

Deep groove ball bearings with a snap ring groove in the outer ring simplify arrangement design in many cases, as they can be retained in the housing by a snap ring. This method of axial location is simple and saves space. Appropriate snap rings are listed in the bearing tables and can be supplied separately or already mounted on the bearings.

SKF single row deep groove ball bearings with an outer diameter less than or equal to 52 mm

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are produced to P6 (ABEC2) tolerances as standard. Bearings with an outer diameter greater than 52 mm are produced to Normal tolerances as standard. The availability of bearings with higher accuracy should always be checked before ordering. Large bearings with a bore diameter of approximately 400 mm and above have dimensional accuracy to tolerance class Normal, and running accuracy to tolerance class P6 as standard.

misalignment capabilities (2-5 minutes of arc), and speed is limited compared to standard designs.

Basic Design
Bearings of the basic design are open at both sides. For manufacturing reasons, open bearings have recesses in the outer ring shoulders that are intended to take the shields.

Bearings with Shields

Deep groove ball bearings with filling slots are also available with a shield (non-rubbing seal) at one or both sides. Pressed steel shields form a gap with the land of the inner ring shoulder. Bearings with shields at both sides are supplied filled with a grease that is suitable for the operating temperature range -30 to +110 C (-20 and +230F). The bearings are lubricated for life and maintenance-free. They should not be heated prior to mounting and must never be washed. The grease quantity is appropriate to the bearing size, and normally fills 25 to 35 percent of the free space in the bearing.

Internal Clearance
SKF single row deep groove ball bearings are produced with Normal radial internal clearance as standard. Many of the bearings, particularly the smaller sizes, are also available with radial internal clearance greater or less than Normal. Check availability of bearings with clearance other than Normal before ordering.

Maximum Capacity Ball Bearings

Bearings with snap ring groove

Deep groove ball bearings used primarily in automotive gearboxes and located in a limited space are supplied with snap ring groove in the outer ring together with snap ring. This method of location saves space and offers design advantages. In addition to the open bearings, bearings with one shield are available in this design.

Maximum Capacity Ball Bearings, also called max type or filling slot ball bearings, refer to extra balls added through notches in inner and outer rings. More rolling elements in the same envelope allow for a greater Catalog Load Rating. Typical applications include balanced motors and pumps. Dont thrust load filling slot bearings; doing so may cause the balls to roll over filling slots, increasing noise and reducing life. Filling slot designs have even lower
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Conditions pertaining to the possible misalignment of the inner ring relative to the outer ring correspond to those of the standard single row deep groove ball bearings. However, due to the filling slots, the permissible misalignment is limited to between two and five minutes of arc. Greater misalignment might allow the balls to roll over the edge of the filling


Roller Bearing

slots. This would shorten bearing considerably and cause noisy operation.


SABB Nomenclature

Internal Clearance
Deep groove ball bearings with filling slots are manufactured with Normal radial internal clearance as standard. Alternatively, bearings with a radial internal clearance greater or smaller than Normal can be supplied.

Self Aligning Ball Bearings

Bearing Series

The Self-aligning Ball Bearing (SABB) has the lowest friction of any bearing type. SABBs also have a high misalignment capacity, up to three degrees depending on the series. SABBs are capable of light to moderate radial load capacity and accept only very light thrust loads. SABBs are used in pairs or with Spherical Roller or CARB Bearings in fan and blower applications. SKF was started when Sven Wingquist invented the SABB in 1907. Other SABB variants include designs with seals, tapered bore, or extra capacity. Self-aligning ball bearings have two rows of balls with a common sphered raceway in the outer ring. This gives the bearings their selfaligning property, permitting angular misalignment of the shaft relative to the housing. They are, therefore, particularly suitable for applications where misalignment can occur from errors in mounting or from shaft deflection. For applications where the load carrying capacity of self-aligning ball bearings is insufficient, spherical roller bearings which have the same self-aligning property should be used instead.

E-2RS1 Light series

E-2RS1 Heavy series

SABBs have the lowest friction of any bearing design due to unique ball-to-raceway contact.

Basic Design
Self-aligning ball bearings of the basic design are available with cylindrical and tapered bore (taper 1:12). For self-aligning ball bearings with a tapered bore, SKF supplies appropriate adapter sleeves for securing the bearings simply and rapidly to

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smooth or stepped shafts. The adapter sleeves are supplied complete with nut and locking device.

Sealed Bearings
SKF self-aligning ball bearings are also available in a sealed (2RS1) version with rubbing seals on both sides. Seals are made of oil and wear-resistant synthetic rubber and have sheet steel reinforcement. The operating temperature range for the seals, with a suitable grease, is -40 to +120 C. The outside diameter of the seal is retained in a recess in the outer ring, giving a tight seal without deformation. The lip of the seal exerts a slight pressure against a recess in the inner ring shoulder. Sealed bearings are supplied as standard filled with a lithium base grease which is suitable for the operating temperature range -30 to +110 C. The bearings are lubricated for life and are maintenance-free.

lubricant. For bearing arrangements that operate continuously at elevated temperatures, or where conditions are difficult, bearings that normally have a polyamide cage can be supplied with a machined brass cage instead. Check for availability before designing these into your application.

Why Polyamide Cages?

Although some might consider plastic cages too flimsy for use in bearings, todays polyamide cage formulations have excellent properties for use in bearings. Their primary limitation over metallic cages is temperature. See the General Catalog for specific temperature ratings.
Very high speed rating Light and flexible Good damping properties

Smooth running

Favourable in vibrating applications

Radial Internal Clearance

SKF self-aligning ball bearings are available with Normal radial internal clearance as standard. Bearings with a tapered bore can also be supplied as standard with a C3 radial internal clearance. Bearings having clearances that are greater or less than standard are available on request.

Low operating temperature

Allows optimised design (E)

Increased carrying capacity

Long bearing service life

Types of Misalignment

Cage Designs

Self-aligning ball bearings are designed to accommodate angular misalignment of one bearing ring relative to the other without detrimental effect. Guideline values for the permissible misalignment under normal operating conditions are given in the General Catalog. Whether or not the maximum permissible misalignment can be utilized depends on the design of the bearing arrangement, the type of seal, etc.

SKF self-aligning ball bearings are supplied with a variety of cages. See the General Catalog for more information. Bearings with glass fiber reinforced polyamide 6.6 cages (designation suffix TN9) can be used at operating temperatures up to +120 C, with a suitable

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Special Feature
Self-aligning ball bearings of series 14 as well as some sizes of series 12 (K) and 13 (K) have balls that protrude somewhat from the bearing. This should be considered when designing adjacent components.

Difference between Self Aligning Ball Bearings and Y Bearing Units

Y-Bearing Units are designed to accommodate static misalignment, while SABBs accommodate static and dynamic misalignment.

ring can be easily turned but there should be a slight resistance when the ring is swiveled out. The bearing will then have the requisite interference fit. However, in some cases, the residual internal clearance may be too small for the application, and a bearing with C3 radial internal clearance should be used instead. When mounting bearings with C3 clearance, the tightening angle (alpha) or the axial displacement can be used to measure the degree of interference. These procedures also be used to mount bearings with Normal clearance. An easy method of mounting bearings on adapter sleeves is based on the tightening angle (alpha) through which the nut is turned. Detailed procedures are available in the Bearing Maintenance Handbook and later in this publication.

Applications: Separator Different Mounting Methods

Mounting Bearings with Tapered Bore

Bearings with a tapered bore are always mounted with an interference fit on the shaft, adapter sleeve, or withdrawal sleeve. As a measure of the degree of interference of the fit, either the reduction in radial internal clearance of the bearing or the axial displacement of the inner ring on the tapered bearing seating can be used. The mounting of self-aligning ball bearings with tapered bore calls for experience and skill, as they have a relatively small internal clearance, and a reliable measurement of the clearance reduction is not always possible. When mounting bearings with Normal radial internal clearance, it is generally sufficient to check clearance reduction during the drive-up by turning and swiveling out the outer ring. When the bearing is properly mounted, the outer

The separator is a tough application well suited to the SABB. A standard single row, deep groove ball bearing could certainly handle the high-speed requirement, however, service life would be unacceptably low from the dynamic rotor flexing in the application.

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Roller Bearing

Application: Air Fans

Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings (DRACBB) are also available in max configuration (filling slot), and with closures (seals or shields) for contaminant exclusion. Typical Angular Contact Ball Bearing applications include pumps and vertical electric motors.

Air handling equipment often requires special engineering work due to the nature of the application. Fan shafts are often oversized to meet stiffness demands while speed requirements are high for efficient operation. The Self Aligning Ball Bearing is often the bearing of choice due to its low friction and compact size.

Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Angular Contact Ball Bearings (ACBB) are the first bearing type we have considered that is designed to accept both radial and axial loads simultaneously. To accept these combined loads, the bearings are built with special raceway geometry. To understand the concept more easily, it is useful to understand the influence of contact angles within different bearing types. Angular Contact Ball Bearings are available in two types, single and double row designs. Single Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings (SRACBB) are typically used in pairs.

Single Row Deep Groove (SRDG) ball bearings are designed with a zero contact angle. They can accept heavy radial loads perpendicular to the shaft. Under this pure radial load, the contact angle within the bearing is zero. Once we begin to add an axial (thrust) load to the bearing, the axis of rotation of the ball departs from the vertical. A contact angle is developed within the bearing. As axial load increases, the contact angle increases. Eventually, as the thrust load increases, the bearing generates too much friction and heat from the high axial loading. Service life is reduced to an unacceptable value, and new designs must be adopted to accommodate the thrust loads. Angular Contact Ball Bearings are one answer. Angular Contact Ball Bearings (ACBB) are available with contact angles from 12 - 60 degrees. Standard industrial applications, such as pumps and gearboxes, generally use bearings with contact angles in the 29 to 40 degree range. Machine tools are often found with 15 and 25 degree ACBB designs. Pure thrust ball bearing designs (90 degree contact angle) are used in applications where radial load is minimal.

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Single Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Single Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings (ACBB) can accommodate both radial and thrust loads in a single direction. Each bearing is universally ground for paired mounting and is available with various preload and clearance ranges. SKF SRACBB are produced to ABEC-3 tolerances. The bearings are available with a variety of cage styles and materials, and can operate at high speeds.

Bearings for Universal Matching

Some bearings are specially manufactured so that, when mounted in random order but immediately adjacent to each other, the predetermined value of axial internal clearance or preload, or an even distribution of load will be attained, without shims or similar devices having to be used.

Single Row Angular Contact Ball Bearing Arrangements

load lines are in parallel and the radial and axial loads are evenly divided between the bearings. The bearing pair is only able to accommodate axial loads in one direction; therefore, a third bearing is generally adjusted against the pair to carry the axial loads acting in the opposite direction. The load lines of bearings arranged back-to-back diverge towards the bearing axis. Axial loads acting in both directions can be accommodated, but only by one bearing in each direction. Bearings mounted back-to-back provide a relatively stiff arrangement which can also accommodate tilting moments. The load lines of bearings mounted face-to-face converge towards the bearing axis. Again, axial loads acting in both directions can be carried, but only by one bearing in each direction. This arrangement is not as stiff as the back-to-back one and is less suitable for the accommodation of tilting moments. Back-to-back is the most common arrangement providing greater stiffness than the face-to-face arrangement. Bearings should be replaced in the same configuration used by the manufacturer. Three or more bearings may be used in various arrangements to achieve the desired mix of thrust and radial load carrying capacity. Do not mix sets of Angular Contact Ball Bearings from different manufacturers. Methods for achieving preload or clearance vary widely. Service life will be shortened. Radial load capacity of bearing sets is less than with the same number of single bearings. Minimum axial loads should be applied to prevent ball skidding. This may result in noise, vibration, heat, and reduced service life.

Paired Mounting
Paired mounting is used when the load carrying capacity of a single bearing is inadequate (tandem arrangement) or when the bearing arrangement must carry axial loads in both directions (back-to-back and face-to-face arrangements). When arranged in tandem, the

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SKF and MRC SRACBB follow ISO dimensional guidelines. Some Manufacturers still produce a 74xx SRACBB series. High precision SRACBB for machine tools are available in 70xx, 718xx and 719xx series. Contact SKF for details and catalogs.

used to achieve maximum design life. Actual service life can be greatly reduced through improper pump operation (insufficient pressure head, cavitations, etc.) or poor installation practices (misalignment, pipe strain). Consult SKF for assistance in achieving maximum service life in your ACBB applications.

Bearing Preload and Static Load Deflection

Bearing Preload, Spring Loaded

When designing the SRACBB to be used in pairs or other set arrangements, preload and clearance curves from each bearing must be
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In some cases, the preload or clearances available are insufficient to ensure proper bearing set function throughout the applications


Roller Bearing

operational regime. Spring preloading can be useful in these applications. If the spring is designed to act on the outer ring of one of the two bearings, this outer ring must be capable of axial displacement. The preload force remains practically constant even when there is axial displacement of the bearing as a result of thermal expansion. It is also important when adjusting bearings to preload in an arrangement, that the established value of the preload force, determined either by calculation or by experience, is achieved with the least possible scatter. For example, for bearing arrangements with taper roller bearings, the bearings should be turned several times in both directions during adjustment so that the rollers do not skew and the roller ends are in correct contact with the guide flange of the inner ring. If this is not the case, the inspection or measurement results will be false and the final preload can be much smaller than the requisite value.

They must be used either with a second bearing or as bearing sets.

Single row angular contact ball bearings have limited ability to accommodate errors in alignment. Their relationship between influencing factors is as complex as for single row deep groove ball bearings. When the bearings are paired, particularly in a back-toback arrangement, angular misalignment can only be accommodated between the balls and raceways by force, leading to increased ball loads and cage stresses as well as a reduction in bearing life. Any misalignment will also lead to an appreciable increase in running noise from the bearing.

Preloaded SRACBB
Question: Why use preload? Answer: Light load (balanced pump). Problem Area: Bearings may unload due to increased internal clearance and skid. Possible solutions: 7309 BECBM Bronze Cage may reduce ball movement and enhance lubrication. 7309 BEGBM Preloading the bearing may reduce skidding, temperature rise may occur MRC PUMPAC Reduce the contact angle in bearing that sees less thrust

Clearance and Preload Options

Clearance designations CA - Axial clearance less than normal CB - Normal axial clearance CC - Axial clearance greater than normal Preload designations GA - Light preload GB - Medium load GC - Heavy load

ACBB Cage Types

SKF produces six varieties of clearance (CA, CB, CC) or preload (GA, GB, GC) in our SRACBB. Not all sizes are produced in all variations. Check with your distributor before specification in applications.

Design of Bearing Arrangements

When designing bearing arrangements using single row angular contact ball bearings, it is necessary to pay attention to the special characteristics of the bearings. Due to their internal design, they cannot be used singly.

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Cage Type P: Polyamide

Characteristics Superior lubricity, low friction, temperature limited. M: Excellent lubricity and ball Machined Bronze retention, very robust, slightly higher cost J: Pressed Steel Low friction, inexpensive Y: Pressed Brass Low friction, inexpensive. F: Machined Steel Excellent ball retention, robust, high cost Bearings with polyamide cages are suitable for the majority of applications, and can be used with a suitable lubricant at operating temperatures of up to +120 C. For applications in refrigeration plants using ammonia, brass is an unsuitable material. Bearing manufacturers produce bearings with machined steel cages for this purpose. Check availability of bearings with cages other than standard manufacture before ordering.

Thrust load direction

Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings

MRC PumPac

Special SRACBB: problem solver for applications with large thrust loads in one direction.

Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings (DRACBB) are capable of radial loads, double directional thrust loads, and combined loads. DRACBB are available with shields, seals, and snap rings. They have an economical, compact design that can operate at high speeds. This bearing is often used in place of a pair of SRACBB, due to cost and width considerations. In design, the double row angular contact ball bearings correspond in function to two single row angular contact ball bearings arranged back-to-back, yet are narrower than two single row bearings. They can accommodate heavy radial loads and moderate axial loads acting in both directions. The bearings shown in this section have a contact angle of 24, 25, or 30 degrees, which provides a relatively stiff bearing arrangement that can also take up tilting moments. The bearings are non-separable. The Conrad-type assembly method for DRACBB employs a slight elastic deflection of

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Roller Bearing

the outer ring to insert the last ball. This results in uninterrupted raceways with smooth running and significant thrust carrying capacity in both directions. Reminder: This bearing is designed primarily for axial loads.

DRACBB Available Styles:

The boundary dimensions of the 52 and 53 series bearings conform to those of dimension series 32 and 33, respectively, of AFBMA Standard 20 and ISO Standard 15. (While most dimensions are metric, the bearing width is based on inches.) Series 54, although not

standardized by AFBMA or ISO, is recognized as an industry series.

Cages for Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Shielded and Sealed Bearings

In addition to open designs, most double row ball bearings are offered with shields or seals on either one or both sides. In most sizes, open bearings also contain seal grooves on the inner and/or outer rings. Shields are non-contacting. They form a small gap with a chamfer on the inner ring. They are made from pressed steel and are fixed into an outer ring groove. This non-contacting closure

is designed to retain lubricant and exclude larger particles of foreign matter. These shielded bearings are primarily intended for applications with inner ring rotation. Single shielded bearings can be used with oil or grease lubrication, while double shielded bearings are packed with a predetermined quantity of grease, providing maintenance-free operation for the life of the bearing. Most bearings are also available with either one or two contacting seals. The seals consist of an

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Roller Bearing

oil and wear resistant, non-metallic disk or an elastomer bonded to a metal plate. The O.D. of either of these two types of seal is firmly fixed into an outer ring groove. The lip at the I.D. of the seal contacts an inner ring seal chamfer for effective closure. This seal effectively excludes solid contaminants and moisture from the inside surfaces of the bearing. The permissible operating temperature range for the seals with a proper lubricant is -40 to +120 C. Single sealed bearings can be regreased, while double sealed bearings are greased for life.

Primary Thrust

Filling Slot

Snap Rings
Snap rings in the outer ring can provide an easy method of locating the bearing in the application. The snap rings and the snap ring grooves in the outer rings generally conform to ABMA Standard 20 and ISO Standard 464.

Part number markings are normally located on either the side face or the O.D. The side face marking is always on the side opposite the filling slot, and the O.D. marking is offset from the center away from the side with the filling slot. Therefore, even double sealed or shielded bearings with the filling slot covered from view can be oriented correctly.

Angular misalignment can only be accommodated in double row ball bearings between the ball and raceways by force. This produces increased ball loads and can lead to a reduction of bearing life.

This graphic illustrates the wide number of DRACBB variants. Check with your manufacturer for availability of particular styles.

Filling Slot Type Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Filling slot bearing features are similar to those of the Conrad type; however, because of the greater number of balls their radial load carrying capacity is higher than that of the Conrad type. On the other hand, heavy thrust loads can be accommodated in only one direction. These bearings should be mounted so the predominant axial load acting on the shaft is directed away from the filling slot.

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Double Row Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearing Nomenclature

M suffix denotes Maximum capacity type DRACBB.

SKF Pump Bearing

Application: Process Pump

ANSI Standard Pumps are often supplied with DRACBB. The DRACBB accommodates thrust loads in both directions and locates the shaft.

The SFK Pump Bearing is a problem solver for tough DRACBB applications where service life is compromised by poor operating conditions or problematical loads. The SFK Pump Bearing is a drop-in replacement for the five most popular sizes of standard 53 and 33 series Double Row ACBB. Avoiding the costly retrofit of a SRACBB pair has enhanced thrust capacity (40 angle of contact). ABEC-3 tolerances and CB axial internal clearance are standard. The split inner ring allows additional rolling elements for

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increased load capacity. The robust machined bronze cage enhances reliability, especially in poor lubrication conditions. All sizes are supplied with a removable snap ring.

Four-point contact ball bearings have an outer ring centered cage machined from brass as standard. Some bearings can also be supplied with a ball-centered cage of glass fiber reinforced polyamide 6.6. Availability should be checked before ordering.

Four Point Contact Ball Bearings (QJ Bearings)

Four-point contact ball bearings are single row angular contact ball bearings with raceways designed to enable axial loads in both directions. They need less axial space than double row bearings. Four-point contact ball bearings have a contact angle of 35 and a two-part inner ring, allowing a large number of balls to be incorporated, thus providing a high load carrying capacity. The bearings are separable, allowing the inner ring halves and the outer ring with ball and cage assembly to be mounted individually.

Four Point ACBB Nomenclature

Example: QJ 217 N2MA/C3 QJ - Four point angular contact ball bearing (0)2 - Light duty bearing; (width) diameter series 17 - Multiply by 5 gives the bore in mm except for bore sizes less than 20 mm N2 - Anti-rotation notches (2) in outer ring MA - Machine brass cage C3 - Greater than normal axial clearance Other Pertinent Suffixes: TN9 - Polyamide 6.6 cage (glass fiber reinforced)

Reminder: This bearing is designed primarily for axial loads.

Four-point contact ball bearings have only a limited ability to accommodate errors in alignment between outer and inner rings. The relationships between the factors governing the permissible values are as complex as for single row deep groove ball bearings. It should be remembered that any misalignment would lead to a considerable increase in bearing noise. If four-point contact ball bearings are combined with other radial bearings to act as thrust bearings, being mounted with radial clearance in the housing, no misalignment of the outer ring in relation to the inner ring is possible.

FPACBB are single row ACBB designed to enable axial loads to be carried on both directions. They require less space than double row ball bearings. They eliminate the need for an additional thrust bearing. FPACBB must be paired with radial bearings for handling large combined loads.

Locating Slots
Four-point contact ball bearings are designed to accommodate predominantly axial loads, and are arranged as thrust bearings with radial clearance in the housing in many applications. To permit simple location and prevent rotation of the outer ring, most bearings with an outside diameter of 160 mm and above are provided with two locating slots in the outer ring

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Roller Bearing

FPACBB Application: Screw Compressor

The screw compressor in this example uses four cylindrical roller bearings to accommodate the large radial loads present in the application. The lobes of the two shafts mesh closely, yet cannot be allowed to make contact. The Cylindrical Roller Bearings accommodate the high radial loads generated by the compressor, while the four point contact bearings are used to locate the shafts axially. Note that the FPACBB are radially free in the housing. To permit simple location and prevent rotation of the outer ring, all bearings with an outside diameter of 160 mm and above are provided with two locating slots in the outer ring (N2 design).

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Roller Bearing

Roller Bearing Types


The basic difference between ball and roller bearings is the type of contact the rolling element makes with the raceway. Ball bearings have point contact; roller bearings have line contact.

Generally, ball bearings are selected for applications having light to moderate loads and high speeds; roller bearings are used in heavier load conditions with slower speeds. Ball and roller bearings generally follow the ISO dimension plan. One significant exception is U.S. Taper Roller bearings, which have their own non-ISO numbering system.

Cylindrical Roller Bearings

particularly where both rings require interference fits due to load conditions. Single row cylindrical roller bearings have high radial load carrying capacity and high-speed capability. They are produced in different designs, which differ in flange configuration. Bearings of the NU type have two integral flanges on the outer ring, and an inner ring without flanges. The N type has two integral flanges on the inner ring, and an outer ring without flanges. Axial displacement of the shaft, with respect to the housing, is permitted in both directions within certain limits. For example, changes in length due to thermal expansion can be accommodated. The bearings are therefore suitable as non-locating bearings. Cylindrical roller bearings of the NJ type have two integral flanges on the outer ring and one integral flange on the inner ring, allowing axial location to be provided for the shaft in one direction. Type NUP cylindrical roller bearings have two integral flanges on the outer ring, and one integral and one loose flange on the inner ring. This enables the bearings to locate a shaft axially in both directions. NJ type bearings, when used with an HJ angle ring, can also be used to locate the shaft axially in both directions. The combination of an NU bearing with an HJ angle ring will locate the shaft axially in one direction. It is not advisable to fit angle rings at both sides of an NU type bearing, as this can lead to axial compression of the rollers. Needle roller bearings are a specialized form of CRB. Generally, if the roller length is twice the diameter, it is classified as a needle. English and metric sizes are available.

The rollers of single row cylindrical roller bearings with cage are guided between integral flanges on one of the bearing rings. The bearing ring with integral flanges and the roller and cage assembly can be withdrawn from the other ring. This facilitates mounting and dismounting,

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Roller Bearing

Cylindrical Roller Bearing Designs

Nonlocating Semilocating

Fully locating


The ability of single row cylindrical roller bearings to accommodate angular misalignments of the inner ring with respect to the outer ring, and tin order to compensate for errors of alignment, is limited to a few minutes of arc. For SKF bearings with the logarithmic contact profile, the actual values are: Four minutes of arc for bearings of the narrow series 10, 2, 3 and 4 Three minutes of arc for bearings of the wide series 22 and 23. For these guideline values to apply, the positions of the shaft and housing axes must remain constant.

Reminder: The complete part number is marked on the removable ring. Example: The outer ring of an NU 217 ECM/C3 will be marked 2NU17, and the inner ring will be marked NU 217 ECM/C3.

Cage Variants
Single row cylindrical roller bearings are produced with a wide selection of cage materials. Standard cages for various sizes are listed in the General Catalog. As a rule, the cages of the NJ, NUP, and N type bearings are the same as those of the NU type bearings. Bearings fitted with glass fiber reinforced polyamide 6.6 cages (designation suffix P) can be used with a proper lubricant at operating temperatures up to +120 C. For bearing arrangements that operate at high temperatures continuously, or under arduous conditions, a pressed steel cage (suffix J) or a machined brass cage (suffix M or MA) is available instead of the polyamide cage. Bearings that incorporate a pressed steel cage as standard can also be ordered with a machined brass cage. Check availability of bearings fitted with cages other than the standard before ordering.

Cylindrical Nomenclature



More and larger rollers Logarithmic contact profile plus optimised surface finish

Improved roller end / flange contact geometry 3 cage variants: steel, polyamide, brass

Radial Internal Clearance

SKF single row cylindrical roller bearings are produced with Normal internal clearance as standard. The majority of the bearings are also available with C3 radial internal clearance, and some with the appreciably greater C4 clearance.

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Roller Bearing

relathion to their width. This produces an extremely high load-carrying capacity, which allows for space-saving designs. Full complement cylindrical roller bearings are suitable for very heavy radial loads; however, the different kinematic conditions in the bearing mean that they cannot operate at the same high speeds as cylindrical roller bearings of the conventional caged type.

Minimum Load
All ball and roller bearings must always be subjected to a given minimum load to assure satisfactory operation. This is also true of cylindrical roller bearings. Particularly if they run at high speeds where the inertia forces of the rollers and cage and the friction of the lubricant can have a detrimental influence on the rolling conditions in the bearing, which may cause damaging sliding movements to occur between the rollers and the raceways.

Precision Cylindrical Roller Bearings

Dynamic Capacity



Available with 1-12 tapered bore, super and ultra precision (P4, RBEC-7 and P2, RBEC-9), NN-series double row cylindrical roller bearings offer high load capacity, excellent rigidity, and heat expansion capability for high speed machine tools; these are often paired with special precision angular contact bearings for shaft location and thrust load capabilities. Ceramic and coated roller options are available for special applications.

Bearings with flanges on both inner and outer rings can support axial loads in addition to radial loads. Their axial load carrying capacity is not primarily determined by the fatigue strength of the material, but instead by the load carrying capacity of the sliding surfaces at the roller end and flange contact. Thus, it is mainly governed by the lubrication, operating temperature and heat dissipation from the bearing.

Full Complement Bearings

Application: Screw Compressor

Full complement cylindrical roller bearings incorporate the maximum number of rollers and, as a rule, have a low sectional height in

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Roller Bearing

Cylindrical Roller Bearings are a logical choice for the screw compressor due to their high load carrying capacity and speed capability.

Taper Roller Bearings

Taper roller bearing component nomenclature varies from traditional rolling bearings: the inner ring and roller assembly is called the cone, while the outer ring is referred to as the cup. Mixing cups and cones from different manufacturers results in differences in internal geometry that can lead to catastrophic failures.

straight circular crowning logarithmic crowning

Taper roller bearings have tapered inner and outer ring raceways between which tapered rollers are arranged.

light load


heavy load

heavy load + misalignment

If extended, the tapered surfaces converge towards a single point on the bearing axis, ensuring optimum rolling conditions. Their design makes them particularly suitable for the accommodation of combined (radial and axial) loads.

The ability of single row taper roller bearings to accommodate angular misalignments of the inner ring, with respect to the outer ring, is limited to a few minutes of arc. Maximum misalignment for SKF TRB is three minutes of arc. Therefore, it is only possible to compensate for alignment errors of this magnitude.

Dimension Series

Taper Roller Bearing Components

Taper roller bearings are generally of separable design, i.e. the inner ring with roller and cage assembly forms a unit that can be mounted separately from the outer ring.

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Roller Bearing

Inch Sizes
Inch-size taper roller bearings are designated with a system that is completely different from the one used for metric taper roller bearings. The basic principles of this designation system are described in the AFBMA Standard 19. The inner ring with roller and cage assembly, known as the cone, and the outer ring (cup) have individual designations. The complete bearing designation consists of the cone designation followed by the cup designation, the two designations being separated by an oblique stroke. The cones and cups belong to various bearing series. Any cup belonging to a particular series can be assembled with any cone of the same series to form a complete bearing, provided they are from the same manufacturer.

Design Range Bearings




In addition to the single row designs, double and multirow Taper Roller Bearings are available.

Effects of Axial and Radial Loads

Metric Bearings
The boundary dimensions of the metric taper roller bearings listed in the tables confirm to ISO 355-1977, except for those bearings carrying designations prefixed by J. These conform to AFBMA Standard 19.1. Single row metric taper roller bearings are manufactured to normal tolerances as standard.

Load Capability

Single row taper roller bearings are able to accommodate axial loads acting in one direction only. Under radial loads, an axial force is produced in the bearing that must be counteracted. Therefore, it is customary for the single row taper roller bearings to be adjusted against a second taper roller bearing.

Internal Clearance
The axial load carrying capacity of TRB is largely determined by the contact angle (, alpha), which corresponds to the angle of the outer ring raceway. The larger the angle, the larger the axial load carrying capacity. The internal clearance of single row taper roller bearings can only be obtained after mounting. It is determined by adjustment of the bearing against a second bearing providing location in the opposite direction.

Life Performance and Bearing Adjustment

Preloaded bearing arrangements in certain applications mean enhanced operational

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Roller Bearing

reliability and long service lives. A properly dimensioned preload has a favorable influence on the load distribution in the bearings and, therefore, also on life. When selecting the preload force for a bearing arrangement it should be remembered that the stiffness is only marginally increased when the preload exceeds a given optimum value, whereas friction and, consequently, heat generation increase, and there is a sharp drop in bearing life as a result of the additional, constantly acting load.

Misalignment and Stress Distribution

straight circular crowning logarithmic crowning

light load


heavy load + misalignment

Taper Roller bearings achieve optimum life when adjusted properly. The illustration shows the effects of excess preload or clearance on relative bearing life. Roller loading increases as preload increases. Because of the risk which an excessive preload implies for the operational reliability of a bearing arrangement, and because of the complexity of the calculations normally required to establish the appropriate preload force, it is important to follow manufacturers instructions for Taper Roller bearing adjustment. Additional guidance for adjustment can be found in the SKF General Catalog and Bearing Maintenance Handbook, or contact SKF Applications Engineering Service for assistance.

The ability of single row taper roller bearings to accommodate angular misalignments of the inner ring with respect to the outer ring is limited to a few minutes of arc. Edge loading is the result of excess misalignment of taper roller bearings. The graphic shows the effects of various taper roller bearing designs and their reaction to load and misalignment. High peak stresses and uneven load distribution occur in straight and circularly crowned rollers, which can lead to edge loading and reduced service life. SKFs logarithmically crowned roller profile reduces peak stresses and improves load distribution under all load and misalignment conditions. Longer service life is the result.

Minimum Load
All ball and roller bearings must always be subjected to a given minimum load to assure satisfactory operation. This is also true of taper roller bearings, particularly if they run at high speeds where inertia forces of the rollers and cage, and the friction in the lubricant can have a detrimental influence on the rolling conditions in the bearing. Damaging sliding movements may occur between the rollers and raceways if insufficient minimum load is applied.

SKF taper roller bearings have a pressed steel cage as standard except for the large inch-size bearings of series 157000, 168000, LL 687900, 763000 and H 969200, which incorporate a machined brass cage

Application: Worm Gearbox

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Roller Bearing

The taper roller bearings in this worm gearbox application were chosen for their ability to accept combined loads and provide positive shaft location. Preload adjustment of each bearing set assures good engagement of the gear teeth. The natural stiffness of the bearing sets resists deflection under the combined loads. Since a high reduction is generally achieved in the application, input and output speeds vary greatly, demanding careful lubrication analysis of bearing sets and gears. Lubricant additive packages are often necessary to span the speed and load ranges in such applications.

Spherical Roller Bearings

Spherical roller bearings have two rows of rollers with a common sphered raceway in the outer ring. The two inner ring raceways are inclined at an angle to the bearing axis. The bearings are self-aligning and consequently insensitive to errors of alignment of the shaft relative to the housing, and to shaft deflection. In addition to radial loads, the bearings can also accommodate axial loads acting in both directions.

The sphered outer ring and two rows of rollers give this bearing heavy radial load-carrying capacity with good misalignment capability. Spherical roller bearings can accommodate misalignment of one to 2.5 degrees depending on the series. Maximum application misalignment is generally limited by the sealing or housing arrangements rather than the bearing alignment capacity. SRBs have up to 50 times greater misalignment than other bearing types. Tapered bores allow easy mounting on tapered journals or sleeves. Spherical Roller Bearing applications include paper machines, continuous casters in steel mills, shaker screens in sand & gravel quarries, coal mining equipment, and heavy-duty fans and blowers. SKF Explorer class bearings can give life up to three times more than other SRBs. See literature for details.

Internal Clearance
SKF spherical roller bearings are manufactured as standard with Normal radial internal clearance. Nearly all the bearings are also available with the larger C3 clearance and some can be supplied with the even larger C4 or C5 clearances. Some sizes can be delivered with C2 clearance, which is smaller than Normal. Check availability of bearings with radial internal clearances other than Normal before ordering.

Spherical roller bearings are capable of carrying high radial loads and moderate axial loads in both directions. Spherical roller bearings have a design that is inherently self-aligning. Misalignment between the outer ring and inner ring can be accommodated without any effect on the bearing. Under normal loads and operating conditions, and when the inner ring rotates, the guideline values of misalignment given in the SKF General Catalog are permitted.

Appropriate Housings
Appropriate housings for spherical roller bearings with cylindrical bore and for bearings with adapter sleeves are available.

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Roller Bearing

Minimum Load
All ball and roller bearings must always be subjected to a given minimum load to assure satisfactory operation. This is also true of spherical roller bearings, particularly if they run at high speeds where the inertia forces of the rollers and cage, and the friction in the lubricant can have a detrimental influence on the rolling conditions in the bearing. Damaging sliding movements may occur between the rollers and raceways.

Popular Variations
Prefixes and suffixes added to the basic designations are used to describe bearings that reflect limited variations in the standard bearing. (Contact SKF for assistance with nomenclature not found on this table.) Commonly specified variations used in applications requiring special bearing design features include:
Prefix ECB EVB Spherical roller bearing, airmelt carburized steel, I.R. only Spherical roller bearing, vacuum melt carburized steel, I.R. only Same as EVB, except with precision tolerances Separate guide ring; inner ring retaining flanges Separate guide ring, inner ring retaining flanges, improved internal design Improved internal design Extra close inner ring running accuracy; normal internal clearance Extra close outer ring running accuracy; normal internal clearance Extra close running accuracy of both inner and outer rings Internal clearance less than C2 Internal clearance less than Normal Internal clearance greater than Normal Internal clearance greater than C3 Internal clearance greater than C4 Reduced I.D. and O.D. tolerance centered on mean Reduced O.D. tolerance approaching nominal dimension High capacity, improved internal design Pressed cage of sheet steel Tapered bore, taper 1:12 on diameter Tapered bore, taper 1:30 on diameter Machined brass cage, inner ring or guide ring centered Machined brass roller centered cage and no guide ring Hi-point of eccentricity marked on inner ring Three lubrication holes in outer ring Special reduced O.D. tolerance, for outer ring; normal tolerance for inner ring Six lubrication holes in inner ring Bearing inspected to special quality requirement Lubrication groove and 3 holes in outer ring Lubrication groove and 6 holes in outer ring Bearing with locating holes in the outer ring 57

Axial Load Carrying Capacity of Bearings Mounted on Adapter Sleeves

If spherical roller bearings with adapter sleeves are mounted on smooth shafts with no fixed abutment, the magnitude of the axial load that can be supported is determined by the friction between the shaft and sleeve.


Spherical Nomenclature



C3 C4 C5 C10 C40 E J K K30 MC M W4 W20 W22 W26 W31 W33 W33X W55

Example: 22217 CCK/C3W33 2 - Double row spherical roller bearing 22 - Width and diameter series 17 - Multiply by 5, gives the bore in mm for bore sizes over 20 mm and under 480 mm CC - Flangeless inner ring, pressed steel cage design K - 1:12 Tapered bore C3 - Greater than normal radial clearance W33 - Lubrication groove and three holes in outer ring Other Pertinent Suffixes: E - New extra-capacity version (W33 omitted) M - Machined Bronze Cage

K30 is 1:30 taper on the bore, bearing series 240xx, 241xx only.

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Roller Bearing W77 W502 W504 W506 W507 W509 W513 W525 Y Bearing with W33 lubrication holes plugged Combination of W22, W33 Combination of W33, W55 Combination of W31, W33 Combination of W4, W31, W33 Combination of W26, W31, W33 Combination of W26, W33 Combination of W31, W77 Pressed cage of sheet brass

Shaker Screen Duty Spherical Roller Bearings

Shaker Screens and other vibratory applications demand special features not found in standard spherical roller bearings, including: One-piece, heavy duty, centrifugally cast machined brass roller centered cage balanced for dynamic stability Increased cage section height provides greater strength Open-end cage construction allows free access of lubricant No center flange; improves lubrication, and reduces wear Optimum groove geometry, surface finish, and radial internal clearance provide better lubrication, cooler running, and longer life Improved cage pocket design and sphereended rollers provide optimum roller guidance, develop oil wedge for superior lubrication and less wear Available with or without W33 lubrication feature. This feature makes lubrication more effective with a circumferential groove and a series of radial holes in the outer ring Reduced O.D. tolerance; W22 now standard for more precise housing fit-up W502 feature available as a combination of W22 O.D. tolerance plus the W33 lubrication feature Vacuum-degassed or melt-refined type steel provided in standard bearing for longer life Vacuum-melted type steels available for longer life applications Available in the standard series 4523 CACM2 and in the extra wide Series 4533 CACM2

Standard SRBs cannot be substituted for Shaker Screen Bearings. The full part number with all prefixes and suffixes is required for precise interchanges between various manufacturers.

Shaft and Housing Tolerances

A loose shaft fit and an interference housing fit are recommended for vibrating applications when the bearing load rotates with respect to the outer ring, and is stationary with respect to the inner ring.

Spherical Roller Thrust Bearings

In spherical roller thrust bearings, the load is transmitted from one raceway to the other at an angle to the bearing axis. They are suitable (in contrast to other thrust bearings) for the accommodation of radial loads in addition to simultaneously acting axial loads. Another important characteristic of spherical roller thrust bearings is their self-aligning capability. This makes the bearings tolerant to shaft deflection and to errors of alignment of the shaft relative to the housing. Spherical roller thrust bearings are of separable design; the shaft washer with roller and cage assembly, and the housing washer can be mounted individually.

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Roller Bearing

Spherical roller thrust bearings can handle heavy thrust loads with some radial load, and misalignment of two to three degrees depending on the series. SRTBs are highly susceptible to damage when inadequately loaded. A hardened steel spacer may be needed when replacing older machined bronze caged bearings with the newer extra-capacity E design (pressed steel cage). Contact SKF Customer Service for these spacers.

Due to their design, spherical roller thrust bearings are self-aligning, i.e. they permit errors of alignment of the shaft relative to the housing, and a certain degree of shaft bending has no effect on the bearing. The permissible misalignment is reduced as the load increases

Minimum Load
Many applications using SRTBs use springs under the separable ring to apply minimum loads throughout the machine load cycle. Unloaded rollers can lead to skidding, overheating, and poor performance. To assure the satisfactory operation of all ball and roller bearings, they must always be subjected to a given minimum load. This is also true of spherical roller thrust bearings, particularly if they run at high speeds where the inertia forces of the rollers and cage, and the friction in the lubricant can have a detrimental influence on the rolling conditions in the bearing, and may cause damaging

sliding movements to occur between the rollers and the raceways.

It is generally recommended that spherical roller thrust bearings be oil lubricated. Grease lubrication can be used in special cases, for example, under light loads and at low speeds, particularly where incorporating a pressed steel cage. When using grease as the lubricant, it is necessary to ensure the roller end / flange contacts are adequately supplied with grease. Depending on the actual application, this can be best done by completely filling the bearing and its housing with grease, or by regular relubrication.

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Due to their internal design, spherical roller thrust bearings have a pumping action, which may be exploited under certain conditions and should be taken into consideration when selecting lubrication method and seals.

range also covers wide, low section series equivalent to needle roller bearings.

CARB Nomenclature

CARB Toroidal Roller Bearing Capabilities


CARBs are available in a tapered bore, making them a drop-in for most spherical roller bearing sizes. Applications include paper machines, gearboxes, fans, and pinions.

Self Aligning Bearing Systems

The Compact Aligning Roller Bearing is a relatively new bearing type developed by SKF. It combines the self-aligning properties of the spherical roller bearing, the compact section of the needle roller bearing, and the ability to displace axially like the cylindrical roller bearing. The ability to carry heavy radial loads and accommodate dynamic misalignment coupled with a high internal axial displacement feature make this a unique bearing.

CARB Accommodation

CARB is available in a range of ISO Dimension Series, equivalent to selfaligning ball and spherical roller bearings used in standard bearing housings and other common types of assemblies. The
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SKFs new self-aligning bearing system consists of a CARB toroidal roller bearing as the non-locating bearing in combination, with a double row spherical roller or self-aligning ball bearing as the locating bearing. The bearing arrangement accommodates both misalignment and axial adjustment internally and without frictional resistance, with no possibility of generating internal axial forces in the bearing system. Due to the ideal interaction between the two bearings, the applied load is always distributed consistently and in the assumed (theoretical) manner between all load-carrying elements. The design characteristics of both bearings in the new system are fully exploited; they function as the machine designer intends and assumes they should. This is often not the case

Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

with other bearing systems, which have some compromise in the arrangement which produces non-ideal operating conditions.

Thrust Bearing Capabilities

The thrust ball bearing consists of shaft and housing washers with cage and ball set, and have two configurations: single and double direction. As it is very sensitive to misalignment, the single direction type can be assembled with sphered housing seating washers (rings) to compensate for static misalignment. The cylindrical roller thrust bearing can carry very heavy loads at slow speeds in one direction only. Misalignment cannot be tolerated.

The new compromise-free SKF system delivers increased reliability and performance, enabling designers to confidently optimize the selection of bearings and the machine construction as a whole. Both manufacturers and end users of machines achieve significant cost reductions through a leaner design and improved productivity. Depending on the machine and application, the benefits seen with SKFs new self-aligning bearing system are: safer, more optimized designs increased bearing service life extended maintenance intervals lower running temperature lower vibration and noise levels greater throughput of the machine same throughput with a lighter, or simpler machine improved product quality / less scrap

Minimum Load
All ball and roller bearings must be subjected to a given minimum load to assure satisfactory operation. This is also true of thrust ball bearings. Particularly if they run at high speeds, where the inertia forces of the balls and cage, and the friction in the lubricant can have a detrimental influence on the rolling conditions in the bearing, and may cause damaging sliding movements (skidding) to occur between the balls and the raceways.

Review Questions
Ball Bearings
Single Row Deep Groove Ball Bearing (DGBB) Single Row Angular Contact Ball Bearing (SRACB) Double Row Angular Contact Ball Bearing (DRACBB)

Thrust Bearings

Four Point Angular Contact Ball Bearing (FPACBB)

Self Aligning Ball Bearing (SABB)

Which bearings can tolerate dynamic misalignment? (SABB Only) 1. Which bearings are not designed to accept thrust loads? (SRDGBB, SABB)

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

2. Which of these bearings can be used as the non-locating bearing? (None)

Roller Bearings

1. Which bearings can tolerate dynamic misalignment? (SRB, SRTB, CARB)

Which bearings are not designed to accept thrust loads? (CRB, CARB)

2. Which of these bearings can be used as the non-locating bearing? (CRB, CARB, SRB?)

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Chapter Bearings

bearing tables. The ability of wide inner ring bearings to carry axial loads does not primarily depend on the internal geometry, but on the means by which they are located to the shaft. Bearings with eccentric collars or set screw locking can carry axial loads of up to 20 percent of the basic dynamic load rating if soft shafts are used and the set screw is properly tightened during mounting.

Mounted Ball Bearing Units

Three basic types of mounted units are available: ball bearing units, roller bearing units and split pillow blocks. Generally, ball bearing units are suitable for simple, lightly loaded application conditions. Choose roller bearing units in heavier loaded applications. Roller bearing mounted units may accommodate shaft expansion, while standard unit ball bearings do not. For more demanding applications, use split pillow block housed units. They offer the broadest range of options for bearing types and lubrication methods. Split Housings accommodate shaft expansion and have the heaviest load carrying capacities. Be sure to check size ranges before application specification as manufacturers vary widely in their production availability.

Load Carrying Capacity and Life

The size of a bearing to be used for an application is initially selected on the basis of its load carrying capacity in relation to the loads to be carried and the requirements regarding life and reliability. Numerical values termed basic load ratings are used in the calculations to express load carrying capacity. Values for the basic dynamic load rating C and the basic static load rating C0 are quoted in the

Ball Bearing Units consist of a precision wide inner ring bearing assembled into a housing made of cast iron, pressed steel, or rubber. Units are prelubricated and are designed to slip fit on to the shaft. Locking method is either eccentric self-locking or setscrew locking. On cast iron and pressed steel units, the outside diameter of the bearing and the inside diameter of the housing are sphered, allowing the bearing to swivel within the housing to accommodate initial alignment. There are numerous bearing and housing combinations to accommodate a diversity of mounting surfaces, load requirements, shaft sizes, and dimensional requirements. Housing types include: pillow blocks, flange units, take-up units, flangette units, and rubber cartridges.

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Inner Ring Length

The inserts for Ball Bearing Units are available in wide and narrow width inner ring designs. When space permits, the wide inner ring is the preferred choice. The wide inner ring minimizes shaft misalignment relative to the bearing bore, and the load is distributed over a greater shaft area. The narrow inner ring is used when space is limited.

cages promote quiet operation. The operating temperature range for the cage exceeds that of the grease with which the bearings are filled.

Grub Screw Type

Zone Hardening Hardening



The raceways of wide inner ring bearings are hardened to between 58-62 Rockwell C to provide strength and long life. The outer rings of all insert bearings are through hardened, that is the entire ring is heat treated to increase the hardness of the steel throughout. The inner rings of wide inner ring bearings with eccentric locking collars are also through hardened. The inner rings of bearings with set screw locking are induction zone hardened at the raceway location.

All wide inner ring bearings are fitted with an injection molded, heat stabilized, glass fiber reinforced polyamide 6.6 cage. This material has a favorable combination of strength and elasticity. The friction of these cages is low and they have excellent running properties under adverse conditions. Additionally, the
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Set Screw Locking features two set screws 120 degrees apart. This placement of the set screws maximizes holding power while minimizing inner ring distortion. Other factors such as: zone hardening of the bearing inner ring, drilling and tapping after heat treat, proper screw length, a knurled cup point set screw, and a forged set screw socket have been incorporated to further enhance holding power and vibration resistance.


Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Eccentric Collar Type

required mounting method for some series that have no auxiliary locking device.

Eccentric Self-Locking features a machined collar and bearing inner ring which act as mating cams when assembled on the shaft. When the collar is engaged on the bearing inner ring, and turned in the direction of shaft rotation, it grips the shaft firmly with a binding action that further increases with rotation. The single setscrew in the collar firmly secures the position of the eccentric collar. This locking method is recommended for all applications except where reversing shaft rotation is involved.

Grease Fill
Generally speaking, wide inner ring bearings are designed to operate without relubrication under normal speed and operating conditions. All wide inner ring bearings are sealed at both sides with rubbing contact seals, and are filled with a special long life grease of NLGI consistency 2. The grease has good corrosion inhibiting properties and is suitable for operating temperatures between 20C and 120C (5F and 250F). However, under extreme conditions or in heavily contaminated environments, it may be necessary to relubricate the bearings.

Inserts with Interference Fit

These are sometimes recommended for eccentric and setscrew locking, but it is the




The M-Seal is standard on FM series housed

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units and YET series bearings. This low


Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

friction contact seal is made up of a wear resistant elastomer lip bonded to a steel trash guard. The lip rides on the precision ground surface of the inner ring providing positive exclusion of dust, moisture, and other contaminants. The Multi-function Seal (RF) is optional on TF and WF series housed units and YAR and YEL series bearings. It is the most effective seal ever produced for ball bearing units and wide inner ring bearings. It combines the proven sealing of the M-Seal with an additional flinger-contact seal assembly. This sealing arrangement provides four separate barriers against the ingress of contamination: a flinger, a contact seal, a grease chamber, and a second contact seal. Stainless RF seals are standard on MRC Marathon series blocks. A low-friction version is available on SKF airhandling unit ball products.

Two-bolt cast iron flange units support shafts through walls, bulkheads, and other flat surfaces but are of a more compact two-bolt design. Center Pull Cast Iron take-up units are typically used in conjunction with a customer supplied frame for belt or shaft tensioning in conveyor, elevator, and power transmission applications. A wide slot for the frame guide is standard.

Pressed Steel Housings

Cast Iron Housings

Pressed Steel Pillow Block housings are lightweight, low cost solutions for light-duty applications. Housings are of a heavy gauge two-piece stamped steel construction, which allows for initial bearing alignment. These housings are available in Two-bolt and Threebolt Pressed Steel Flange Units. Rubber cartridges are generally used in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning applications or other applications where low noise is important. The conductive rubber cartridge, or tire, helps dampen noise and vibration as well as dissipate the build up of static electricity.

Pillow block housings, the most popular housing design for mounted bearings, are available in several series. All are designed to support loads primarily directed through the base. Four-bolt flange units are designed to support shafts through walls, bulkheads, and other flat surfaces. The housing mounts flush to the surface and the load is carried by the four mounting bolts.
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Corrosion Resistant Solutions


Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

MRC Marathon Series are available for applications requiring additional corrosion resistance. The standard offering is comprised of a glass fiber reinforced nylon housing paired with a corrosion resistant, setscrew mounted insert bearing. Two additional housing series are available: cast iron (with a corrosion resistant coating) and stainless steel. Housings are available in pillow block, 2-, 3-, and 4-bolt flange, tapped base, and take-up designs. The standard insert is made of 52100 steel with a corrosion resistant coating. Stainless steel seals and setscrews are provided for additional corrosion resistance. Optional inserts include stainless steel ball bearings and non-rolling element inserts in a wide variety of polymer and stainless steel configurations. Marathon units are supplied with 100 percent full grease pack and are not intended to be regreased.

Ball bearing units can compensate for up to 5 of static misalignment. However, in the cast iron housings, when it is desirable to relubricate the bearings, initial errors in alignment should not exceed 2 for basic bearings size 211 and smaller and 1.5 for larger sizes. Misalignment greater than this will prevent the lubrication holes in the outer ring of the bearing from lining up with the groove in the housing bore and the bearings will not be relubricated.

2. Length through the bore 3. Mounting style (Eccentric collar, setscrew, etc.) 4. Bearing O.D. 5. Housing dimensions: Length and width (or diameter). For take-up housings, also, measure the slot width. 6. Overall height 7. Bearing centerline height 8. Bolt hole spacing and arrangement (2, 3 or 4 bolt) With the proper information, the correct replacement bearing can be acquired. Loosely fitted insert bearings can be prone to fretting corrosion. Antifretting compound between shaft and bearing inner ring is not recommended, and may promote shaft creep. Use precision ground shafting in heavily loaded applications, or specify a press fit as recommended. See manufacturers catalogs or supplied instructions for details. When replacing Unit Ball Bearings, it is generally recommended to replace the entire unit. Housing wear may reduce the service life of the replacement insert. Housings and inserts from different manufacturers are generally incompatible. If only the insert is replaced, do not mix inserts and housings of different manufacturers. Lube grooves, holes, or pins usually will not line up, preventing relubrication.

Replacement Considerations
Identifying the bearing by looking at the housing alone is not always possible. For this reason, housings, inserts, and complete units have discrete part numbers. When possible, record the housing and bearing part numbers and the manufacturer of the unit for complete identification. If part numbers are not readable, collect the following data: 1. Shaft diameter (with a micrometer or accurate dial caliper)
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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Collar Mounted Roller Bearing Unit

Roller bearing units are available in a variety of housing styles and two mounting methods. These units are simple and economic bearing arrangements, combining the high load capacity and self-aligning features with the convenience of set screw mounting and a rugged cast iron housing. They come pregreased and fully assembled. Installation time is reduced and there is no risk of bearing

contamination during assembly. SKF Roller bearing units accommodate dynamic or static misalignment and can be supplied as free or held assemblies. (Contact your manufacturer to confirm the ability of these features.) Roller bearing units offer many of the advantages of the split housing series, but with the convenience of just slipping them on the shaft. Running or static misalignment (up to one to one-half degrees), free or held assemblies, two or four bolt bases, cast iron, and a variety of seal options make the roller bearing unit a preferred alternative to the split housing. Typical applications include: Apron conveyors Belt conveyors Fans & blowers Wastewater treatment equipment Commercial laundry equipment Bucket elevators Chain conveyors

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Collar Mounted units use a locking collar design to firmly secure the bearing inner ring to the shaft. The two set screws extend through the inner ring of the bearing and lock into the shaft. The elasticity of the locking collars maintains pressure on the set screws helping to maintain a secure fit to the shaft even in severe power transmission applications. To mount, slide the unit on the shaft, bolt the housing securely to the mounting surface, and tighten the two set screws.

Take-up assemblies consist of a specially designed, cast iron, take-up unit mounted in an all-steel top angle take-up frame. Primarily for belt tensioning in conveyor applications, the unit is positioned in the frame by turning the protected adjustment screw from either end of the frame.

Cast iron flange unit roller bearings support rotating shafts through walls, bulkheads, or other flat surfaces. The two smallest sizes mount to the surface with three bolts; all other sizes use four mounting bolts. Top mount take-up frames are designed for use with unit roller pillow blocks. As with other take-up frames, top mounted assemblies are used primarily for belt tensioning in conveyor applications. The unit roller pillow blocks mount directly to the top of the frame and are positioned by turning the protected adjustment screw at either end of the frame. Top mount take-up frames are available in a variety of lengths. Mounting Instructions are provided in every box. Shaft diameter requirements and setscrew torque recommendations are critical in more heavily loaded applications.

Piloted flange cast iron flange units are available in a variety of shaft sizes and have a machined extension on one side to fit into a precisely machined bulkhead opening. This provides additional location and support to the unit. All piloted flange units are supplied in four-bolt mounting arrangements. Cast iron, center pull take-up units are designed for use in premanufactured frames.

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Unit Roller Bearing Seals

bore. They provide complete contaminant exclusion and protection for exposed shaft ends. Details, such as speed ratings, dimensions, and recommended applications, may be found in appropriate SKF Catalogs.

Pop-Release Units
The TriGard Seal is supplied as standard on all SKF unit roller bearings. A double lip molded contact seal rides on the ground surface of the inner ring. A steel outboard trash guard protects the seal and excludes larger contaminants. The Trigard Seal provides positive contact and accommodates up to 11 2 misalignment with low frictional torque. Maximum continuous operating temperature is limited to 95C (200F). The two-piece all metal Labyrinth Seal (suffix 18) accommodates higher operating speeds. An inboard flinger pressed on the inner ring of the bearing helps retain grease and exclude contaminants. An outboard stationary trash guard is pressed into the housing and has close running tolerance with the inner ring of the bearing to prevent the entrance of contaminants. The design permits 11 2 misalignment with no frictional torque or seal temperature limitation. The Garter Spring Seal (suffix 3) consists of a one piece molded nitrile rubber seal pressed into the housing bore. It provides greater grease retention and sealing protection. The stainless steel garter spring holds the seal lip firmly to the ground inner ring. The Garter spring seal provides positive contact even under misaligned conditions, while permitting 11 2 misalignment. The garter spring seal provides good protection in moist environments and is limited to 95C (200F) maximum operating temperature. Standard steel End Covers (suffix Y) are simply pushed into position in the housing
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Pop Release spherical roller bearing units are supplied completely assembled with bearings, seals, and grease. They are prelubricated and require no internal adjustment once mounted.

Pop Release units can be used in the same applications as collar mounted roller bearing units. The bearings used in Pop Release Spherical roller bearing units are based on the high capacity SKF 22200 series spherical roller bearing. They accommodate heavy radial and axial loads, running and static misalignment, and high operating temperatures. Clearances in the bearing are preset; no adjustment is required. The Pop Release spherical roller bearing unit

Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

uses a patented multitapered sleeve arrangement for easy shaft mounting. This locking system provides nearly 360 degrees of interference fit. The locking system also centers the shaft, reducing imbalance, vibration and fretting corrosion. To dismount, loosen the mounting set screws and tighten the dismounting set screws until the multi tapered sleeve releases its grip, usually with a POP.

differences in the types of seals offered in the two different styles. The two block styles are not dimensionally interchangeable in terms of centerline height, bolthole spacing, width, etc. Both styles can be used with grease or oil lubrication.

Split Pillow Blocks

SAF, SAW, SDAF Designs
Split Pillow Blocks are the most versatile mounted assemblies and are designed for extremely demanding applications. They can accommodate a large range of shaft sizes and handle higher loads. They come standard with heavy gray cast iron housings, and provide more flexibility in sealing options and lubrication (grease or oil can be used). These assemblies are predominately designed for radial loads that are carried directly through the base. Applications include: Strip processing equipment steel mills Conveyors that must accommodate larger shaft sizes or special seals

Pop-Release uses a stepped sleeve matched to a stepped inner ring. When the inner ring is driven up the inclined planes of the sleeve, the sleeve firmly clamps to the shaft to provide a nearly 360-degree interference fit. The bearing stays entered on the shaft as well, reducing dynamic imbalance. Several problems can be addressed with Pop-Release: excess fretting corrosion, which often prevents easy unit removal, imbalance from offset mounting with setscrews or collars, and shaft creep from lack of proper press fit.

SKF Split Bearing Housings Overview

Worldwide, SKF manufactures several twotypes of Split Housings. The most common styles are the SNH/L Plummer Block Styles and the SAF Split Pillow Block Style. The standard SNL/H blocks and accessories are dimensioned to fit SI (metric system) sized shafts while the SAF standard product range is dimensioned to fit English (inch) shaft sizes. Either block can be special ordered for nonstandard shaft sizes, if desired. There are also
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Fans and blowers Felt rolls and drying cylinders within the paper industry Crushers, hammer mills, and kilns in the minerals processing industries.


Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

method is preferred for precise location of the shaft. It is also better suited for high speed applications. In cylindrical mounting, the shaft must have precision tolerances at the bearing seat and machined threads for the locknut. Heating of the inner ring is usually necessary for mounting.

Taper Bore Mounting

Standard split pillow blocks are made from cast iron, cast steel, or ductile. Housings are horizontally split, and the cap and base are a mated set, which cannot be interchanged with other caps or bases. For accurate realignment, each cap is mated to the base with dowel pins. Split pillow blocks are available in two- and four-bolt base mounting configurations, which allows for moderate adjustments during installation. Sealing options for split pillow blocks include the LER/LOR Triple ring seal, the contact seal, taconite seal, and the end plug. SKF Split Pillow Blocks come in three styles, SAF, SAW, and SDAF. A fourth type, known as the Extended Range, is custom designed for demanding applications, where requirements include shaft sizes of 25-50 cm (10-20 inches). Cylindrical Bore Mounting

In adapter mounting, a tapered bore bearing is mounted to a cylindrical shaft through the use of a tapered adapter sleeve. Adapter mounting is considered the general purpose mounting method and most applications of split pillow blocks use this method of attaching the bearing to the shaft. The shaft seatings do not need to be machined to the precision tolerances necessary for cylindrical mounting, and the mounting method does not require heating the bearing. Additionally, dismounting is considerably easier with a tapered adapter sleeve. For these reasons, the total costs associated with adapter mounting are less than for cylindrical mounting. Adding Stabilizing Ring(s) fixes the bearing in the housing, also called the Held Bearing. Other terminologies are Fixed or Float or the preferred Locating or Non-Locating.

Cylindrical mounting involves mounting a straight bore bearing to a cylindrical shaft using an interference fit. This mounting
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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

SAF Design Split Pillow Block

SAF style blocks are manufactured in cast iron, cast steel, or ductile iron materials. It features a combination of five bearing types, four sealing options and two mounting methods, enabling the SAF to be optimized for a wide variety of applications. The SAW accommodates the higher capacity series 23200 bearings, or provides greater thermal expansion of the shaft when the 22200 bearing is used. It is dimensionally interchangeable with SAF. Although the bolthole spacing and center heights are the same, the SAW block is about 25 mm (one inch) wider. The SDAF style is used for applications that involve heavy or shock loads. SDAF housings are used extensively in steel mills, mineral processing, and other environments using heavy-duty equipment. Split Pillow Blocks offer optional customized features, such as special bearings to meet unusual clearance and/or tolerance requirements, machined base ends that provide
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flat surface for jacking screws, holes for attachment of various condition monitoring devices (thermocouples and vibration detection equipment), and special seals for use with circulating oil lubrication and high-speed operation.


Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Split housings are designed to accommodate a variety of bearings. Care must be taken to assure the correct accessories are used during assembly.


Standard Split Pillow Block Assortment

The SAFS split pillow blocks are cast steel versions of the SAF block described above. The cast steel material offers greater strength and shock resistance for extra heavy-duty applications. SAFS blocks are used with cylindrical or adapter mounted spherical roller bearings. They are available in a variety of shaft sizes. They can be supplied in two or four bolt base mounting arrangements. The SAFS pillow blocks can be grease or oil lubricated and come standard with LER/LOR triple ring seals. Contact seals, taconite seals, and end plugs are also available. SAFS housings have the same basic mounting dimensions as SAF housings but differ in some dimensions.

Cast iron SAF split pillow blocks accommodate self-aligning ball bearings, spherical roller bearings and toroidal (CARB) roller bearings. All SAF housings are suitable for adapter or cylindrical mounting to a shaft. SAF housings are available for a variety of shaft sizes and offer a choice of two or four bolt base mounting. Their design accommodates grease or oil lubrication. LER/LOR triple ring seals are supplied as standard, but SAF housings also accommodate a variety of optional seals such as contact seals, taconite seals, and end plugs.


The SDAF block is designed for applications where heavy thrust loads and shock require a housing of exceptionally sturdy construction.
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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

The four-bolt cap and four-bolt base of the heavy-duty SDAF are of unusually rugged proportions adequate to resist shock and heavy loading in any direction. The caps of these large housings are supplied with tapped holes for lifting eyes. SDAF housings accommodate several series of spherical roller bearings, cylindrical, or adapter mounted. They are available in a variety of sizes. Triple ring seals are standard, but optional taconite seals and end plugs are available. SDAF housings can be grease or oil lubricated.

Mounting Bolts
Most split housing pillow blocks are available in two and four mounting bolt designs. In many cases, this option is limited to certain shaft sizes. Check with the bearing manufacturer for specific sizes available. Two Bolt Four bolt

FSAF = Four bolt base SAF housing (see suffix 11 for steel) These can be combined. Example: SDAFD = Ductile Iron Heavy Duty Split Pillow Block American Design with Ring Seals. A three-digit size designation denotes Housing Only, for example, SAF 517 A five or six digit size designation denotes the complete assembly, which includes the Split Pillow Block, Bearing, Seals and Stabilizing Rings. For example, SAF 22517 is the complete assembly with Normal Internal Clearance Spherical Roller Bearing. SAF C2517 indicates the complete assembly with CARB toroidal Bearing.

Common size designations: SAF 222xx = cylindrical mount with a 222 series bearing SAF 223xx = cylindrical mount with a 223 series bearing SAF 225xx = adapter mount with a 222 series bearing SAF 226xx = adapter mount with a 223 series bearing SAF 230xx = 230 series bearing used with suffix KA The only letter allowed in the size field is the letter C to signify CARB.

Nomenclature - Prefixes

S = Prefix letter for Split Pillow Block A = American Design F = Ring Seals

SAFS = the last S denotes cast steel SAFD = the D denotes ductile iron, available from SKF Canada. SDAF = the D denotes heavy duty series split pillow block SSAF = the first S denotes a blank base which is no longer available SSDAF is available as a made to order special.

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Special Application Solutions



TY-RPA take-up assemblies consist of a specially designed, cast iron, TY-R take-up unit mounted in an all steel PA take-up housing. These assemblies are used primarily for belt tensioning in conveyor applications. The TY-R housing uses an adapter mounted spherical roller bearing. Travel is adjusted by turning the protected adjustment screw from either end of the frame. TY-RPA assemblies are available in travel lengths ranging from 12 to 36 inches, and accommodate a variety of shaft sizes. These units are intended for grease lubrication only, and are supplied as standard with one end closed. Piston ring type seals are used at the open ends. Versions with both ends open are also available.

SAW split pillow blocks are designed to accommodate the higher capacity 23200 series spherical roller bearings. They can also be used with 22200 series bearings to allow for greater axial travel or thermal shaft expansion. SAW blocks have the same basic mounting dimensions as their SAF counterparts, but are about one inch wider to accommodate the wider bearing. A variety of shaft sizes are available in adapter mounting. SAW blocks are available in four-bolt base only and are suitable for grease or oil lubrication. LER/LOR triple ring seals are standard, but, as with the SAF, other sealing options are available.

Extended Range


TFT top mount take-up frames are designed for use with SAF split pillow blocks. As with the TY-RPA assemblies, TFT assemblies are used primarily for belt tensioning in conveyor applications. An SAF block mounts directly to the top of the TFT frame to complete the assembly. TFT frames are available in travel lengths from 12 to 48 inches (30 to 120 cm) and accommodate SAF blocks in a variety of shaft sizes.

The Extended Range split pillow blocks provide an extremely rugged housing style of exceptionally sturdy construction for shaft sizes ranging from nine to 20 inches (23 to 50 cm) and higher. These blocks are made-to-order and can be supplied with a variety of customized features to suit the largest and most demanding applications. Customized features can include special seals and grease shrouds, special bearings and tolerances, specific bolthole patterns and machining for attachment of auxiliary equipment such as temperature and vibration detectors. The blocks can accommodate several series of high capacity spherical roller bearings in either cylindrical or

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adapter mounted arrangements. As with other SKF split pillow block housings, the Extended Range is suitable for grease or oil lubrication and has a variety of sealing options.

shaft into the housing, while preventing lubricant leakage in the opposite direction. The labyrinth design offers good, large particle protection, and acts as a rotating flinger during operation.

Several seal designs are available for SKF split pillow blocks. Guidance on choosing the correct seal may be found in the SKF Bearing Maintenance Handbook.

PosiTrac Plus Seal

Triple Ring LER Seal

PosiTrac Plus adds a nitrile rubber contact element to the standard Positrac Seal. Fitting snugly into the housing seal bore, it provides positive sealing contact with the outer diameter of the seals aluminum ring. The ring seal provides a wearing surface, and virtually eliminates any possibility of shaft wear. This contact seal is completely encased within the housing and ring seal labyrinth, protecting it from large particle contamination. PosiTrac Plus seals are ordered separately. The LER and LOR seals are supplied for SAF, SDAF and SAW split pillow blocks. They consist of a one-piece aluminum rotating labyrinth seal. The close running tolerance between shaft and housing surfaces provides protection from contaminants while retaining grease or oil.

PosiTrac (LOR) Seal

Positrac is adaptable for purge and non-purge operations. Grease purging is essential in some applications (high-contamination mining operations, for example), but unacceptable in others (papermaking, meat and fruit processing). PosiTrac adapts easily to either requirement. Reverse the seal orientation in the housing to convert PosiTrac Plus from purgeable to nonpurgeable operation.

This lightweight seal is supplied with most SKF SAF-design split pillow blocks. PosiTrac consists of a lightweight aluminum ring with an O-ring integrated into the seal bore. This design blocks contaminants from migrating along the

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Contact Seal

Taconite TER Seal

This one-piece nitrile rubber seal should be selected for dirty, dusty and wet environments. Contact seals fit into the center of the housing labyrinth and provide positive contact even under misaligned conditions.

End Plug

Taconite Seals should be selected for the harshest duty applications with extensive particle contamination, such as mines, quarries, and foundries. The design replaces the standard LOR/LER ring seal with an extended auxiliary seal. Taconite seals should be checked for proper clearances before specifying extension. Three sealing areas are provided: an outboard shaft riding split contact seal, a grease cavity with fitting to flush contaminants, and a felt inboard seal for grease retention and additional sealing.

Taconite-TER-V ring seal

End plugs are extruded nitrile rubber strip fabricated over a metal plate. They provide a positive fit in the housing labyrinth center for complete contaminant exclusion. The taconite seal with V-ring option should be used when rougher shaft surfaces must be accommodated. PosiTrac replaces existing SKF LER or A9508 seals as they are identical in width. To ease assembly, the O-ring in the seal bore may also

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

lubricated with lightweight mineral oil. PosiTrac misalignment capability is equivalent to that of existing SKF LER seals, and has a operating temperature range from 35C to 110C (-30F to 230F). SDAF Extended Range Split Pillow Block The Extended Range Series of pillow blocks are a rugged housing style of exceptionally sturdy 4-bolt construction. The standard material is Class 40 gray iron, but when extra high strength or impact resistance is necessary, housings can be supplied in high strength ductile irons or cast steel, as specified below. Extended Range housings are machined according to the requirements of the individual application and are, therefore, highly customized bearing solutions. These customized housings are each given their own specific part number and drawing so that there is a permanent record for each housing. When no special features are required, housings are designated according to the part numbers in the following tables. However, since Extended Range housings are not stocked in a final machined state, it is recommended that each application for Extended Range housings be reviewed with SKF Applications Engineering to determine what features may be needed since many special features can often be accommodated with little or no additional cost. These features can include, but are not limited to: drilled base bolt holes, milled foot pads, special machining for lubrication and condition monitoring systems, special bore tolerances, machined foot ends, special seals, machining for user supplied auxiliary seals, hydraulic assisted adapter sleeves, etc.

sleeves can be supplied modified with hydraulic assist features. Additional guidance may be found in the SKF Bearing Maintenance Handbook, or contact SKF service for assistance in mounting these specialized solutions.

SKF Housing Materials

Standard material is ASTM A48B Class 40 gray iron. Alternate high strength or impact resistant materials available include: 1. Ductile Iron: ASTM A339, Grade 60-45-10 2. Ductile Iron: ASTM A536, Grade 80-60-03 3. Cast Steel: ASTM A27, Grade U-60-30

Split housing designs provide effective bearing lubrication. Grease, static oil, circulating oil, airoil, and oil mist systems can be accommodated. Guidance on initial grease lubrication amounts, relubrication intervals, and static oil fill levels may be found in the SKF Bearing Maintenance Handbook or appropriate catalog.

Cap and Base Alignment

All SKF Split Pillow Block Housings are machined as matched sets: caps and bases cannot be mixed. Dowel pins or groove pins control the alignment of the cap to base.

Because of their size, Extended Range housings often require special considerations when mounting and dismounting. For bearings mounted directly on the shaft, it is recommended that hydraulic assist features be included in the shaft design. These will aid in mounting and dismounting the bearing. For bearings mounted on adapter sleeves, the To prevent mixing caps and bases during assembly all SKF Split Pillow Block housings have cap and base match marking. All SAF and SAFS 200 & 500 series housings have cap and base labels. All SDAF, Extended Range, and SAFS 300 & 600 series housings are stamped.

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing







Cap to Base Overhang

All SKF Split Pillow Block Housings are designed so that the cap will overhang the base slightly to create a drip edge to prevent water from wicking at the split line. The amount of overhang will vary based on casting tolerances. predominantly vertical loads directed through the base. If the load direction is otherwise, care must be taken to see that housing selected has sufficient strength. It must have an adequate factor of safety against fracture and be properly assembled to carry the loading involved.

Shaft Fits for Split Pillow Blocks

Shaft fit selection procedures for cylindrical bore bearings are the same as those previously presented. Consult the appropriate tables in the appropriate SKF catalog for guidance. Tapered Bore bearings may be mounted on tapered shafts, or adapter or withdrawal sleeves.

Mounting Accessories

Housing Bore Fits

All SKF split pillow blocks are supplied with G7 housing bores as standard, except the SDAF extended range which have F7 housing bores. Special fits are available on a made-to-order basis.

Split Pillow Block Housing Loads

The selection of a rolling bearing pillow block depends not only on determining adequate service life of the bearing for the operating conditions of the application, but also on the adequacy of the housing to safely accommodate the magnitude and characteristics of all applied loading.

The adapter is used to hold and locate a tapered bore bearing on a cylindrical shaft seat. It permits relatively wide tolerances for the shaft diameter, and makes it unnecessary to heat the bearing or use a press when mounting, in order to obtain an interference fit of the inner ring on the shaft. Most adapters are generally supplied complete with locknut and locking device.

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

Locknuts, Lockplates



Locknuts and lockwashers are commonly used as effective means for holding bearing inner rings axially on the shaft. They are also frequently used to secure gears, belt pulleys, and other machine components. The locknuts are accurately made to insure that the abutment face will be square with the shaft axis, thus avoiding distortion of the shaft during tightening. Lockwashers, which are made from selected high quality steel, and are heat treated, must pass a final inspection that requires their surfaces to be smooth and free from burrs. Lockplates are steel stampings that engage the slot of the sleeve and are secured to the end face of larger nuts by two screws. This unit is used in lieu of lockwashers on larger size nuts.

SNL (SNH) blocks are constructed to metric dimensions, i.e., bolthole centers and base to centerline of the shaft are measured in millimeters, not inches. Using H, HA and HE series adapter sleeves, tapered bore self aligning ball, spherical roller, and CARB bearings may be fitted to either metric or inch dimension shafts. The SNL size range is SNL 505 to SNL 532 or shaft diameters, to 5-1/2 and 20 mm to 140 mm. SNL Plummer Blocks are also available in an extended size range covering shaft diameters from 150 mm to 450 mm. The new range accommodates series 231, 230 and 240 spherical roller bearings along with C31 and C30 CARB bearings. Large SNL are available with several choices of seals, including labyrinth, taconite, felt, etc. The new extended range SNL replaces the SD series. Consult SKF for additional information. Split pillow block basic design, materials, and applications have been covered in the previous sections. Detailed installation information can be found in various SKF publications and is also provided with each block. SNL pillow blocks are intended for use with self-aligning ball bearings, spherical roller bearings, and CARB bearings of ISO Dimension series 02, 03, 22, 23 and 32. SNL split blocks can be fitted with a variety of seals.

Tapered Bore Mounting

SNL housings incorporate two dimension series in one block. For example, the SNL511-609 can accommodate either a 22211EK or 22309CCK/W33 spherical roller bearings. Both bearings have the same outside diameter of 100 mm. Using different adapter sleeves, different section height seals in the hub and fixing rings with different widths, two series of bearing may be accommodated in the same housing. For example: SNL 22511/1-11/16TG with a 22211EK bearing uses: HA 311 adapter sleeve TSN 511G seals FRB9.5/100 fixing rings.

Metric Plummer Blocks

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

SNL 22609/1-7/16TGA with a 2309CCK/W33 bearing uses: HA2309 adapter sleeve TSN609GA seals FRB4/100 fixing rings. Tapered bore bearings are usually mounted on smooth (plain) shafts with the aid of adapter or withdrawal sleeves, but can also be mounted on step shafts when an accurately machined spacer sleeve is used to secure the bearing against the shoulder. Sleeve mounting on cylindrical shafts allows the use of economically priced round bar (cold rolled) shafting (tolerance h9) without machining. SNL pillow blocks can be used for mounting tapered bore self- aligning ball, spherical roller, and CARB bearings of the following dimension series: SNL5 series for 12EK, 22EK, 222K, 232CCK, C22K, C32K. SNL6 series for 13EK, 23EK, 213CCK, 223EK and C23K.

SNL3 series for 13E, 23E, 213CC, 223CC and C23

Metric Block Seals

Cylindrical Bore Mounting

There are two series of SNL pillow blocks for mounting cylindrical bore bearings on stepped shafts, SNL2 and SNL3. In many cases, the SNL5/6 housings can be used instead of SNL2/3 series since the housing dimensions are the same. Detailed listings of SNL pillow blocks for both adapter sleeve mounted and cylindrical bore mounted bearings can be found in the SKF catalogs. Since the bearing fit and residual internal clearance after mounting is determined by the shaft size, form, and finish, it is necessary to use expensive precision ground shafting. Step shaft mounting may be preferred when large shock loads can occur and to maximize the shaft size at the bearing position. SNL pillow blocks can be used for cylindrical bore mounting of self-aligning ball, spherical roller, and CARB bearings of the following dimension series: SNL2 series for 12E, 22E, 222E, 232CC, C22 and C32.

SNL pillow blocks can be fitted with a variety of seals. The standard seals are double lip rubber G seals (most popular), V-ring seals and felt seals. Labyrinth seals and heavy-duty taconite seals are available as well as end covers. SKF catalogs offer a comprehensive overview of the seal types available for SNL pillow blocks. Seal design features and suitability for various operating conditions provided.

Double-lip Seal, Type G

The G seal is made of polyurethane, a wear resistant material with good elastic properties. The seals are intended for grease lubrication for speeds up to 8 m/s (1600 ft/min). Permissible angular misalignment is up to 1.0 for shaft diameters 100 mm (3-15/16) and up to 0.5 for larger sizes. The surface roughness of the seal counterface on the shaft should not exceed 125 microns (0.005) RMS. G type seals can accommodate axial movement of the shaft. The seals are supplied in packs of two. Double lip seals are identified by a prefix, TSN, followed by the size and suffix, i.e., TSN 511G. (Generally, G for metric shafts, GA and GE for inch dimension shafts).

V-ring Seals, Type A

The V-ring seals consist of two parts:

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

The v-ring itself A sheet steel sealing washer with rubber lip which fits into the housing hub groove. The v-ring is made of nitrile rubber and has a seal lip which runs against the sealing washer. The v-ring seals can be operated at peripheral speeds of 7 m/s (1400 ft/min). If the ring is prevented from moving by a support ring on the shaft, permissible angular misalignment is 1.5 for shaft diameter of 50 mm (~2), decreasing to 1.0 for shaft diameter of 150 mm (~6) and above. V-ring seals are identified by a prefix TSN followed by the size and suffix, i.e., TSN 511A.

be found in use in the market place. Although the principal dimensions have not changed, the SNA, SNH and SNL hub opening diameter has been enlarged. Seals and end covers for SN style will not fit SNA, SNH or SNL. The larger hub openings mean fewer pillow block sizes are needed for a wider range of shaft sizes. This is accomplished by using new seal designs with different section heights to fit the hub openings. Dimensions of SNL conform to ISO 113:1994.

SNL Design Characteristics

SNL pillow block housings are a further development of the well-proven SNH. SNL have all the advantages of SNH, such as high load carrying capacity and machining quality, along with the following enhancements: SNL housing black provides additional heat dissipation. The housing is reinforced with ribs and extra material surrounding the attachment boltholes. Attachment bolts can be preloaded for better location without deforming the housing base or bore. Heat conductivity is improved through increased contact area between the base and base plate. Bearings will run 5-10% cooler than in other housings. Caps and bases are individually marked to prevent mixing. Housing dimples indicate the location points for attachments, i.e., site glasses and condition monitoring probes. Indentations are cast on the end and side faces of the housing base (vertical to the center of the bore) for housing alignment. Mounting instructions are included with the seal pack, inside the block.

Felt Seals, Type C

Felt ring seals are simple and can be used at peripheral speeds up to 4 m/s (800 ft/min.). The seal consists of two light alloy half-rings, in which felt strips are fitted, and o-section cords. The o-rings are placed in the grooves to prevent the seal rotation. The felt must be soaked in oil prior to use. Felt seals are identified by a prefix TSN, followed by the size and a suffix, i.e., TSN 511C.

Labyrinth and Taconite Seals

These seals are functionally similar to those for SAF style spilt pillow blocks.

End Covers
For applications where the pillow block housing is at the end of the shaft an end cover is used. The standard end cover is made of plastic and designated with the prefix ASNH, i.e., ASNH 511-609 indicates this end cover is used with an SNL 511-609 housing. The standard end covers are suitable for temperatures of 40C to +110C (-40F to +230F). For higher temperatures, a metal end cover should be used.

Fixing Rings
Also called locating or stabilizing rings, fixing rings are needed to axially locate a bearing on the shaft. Only one bearing on a shaft section is to be fixed. The same recommendations for use as those for SAF style pillow blocks should be followed. Fixing rings for SNL pillow blocks are designated by the prefix FRB, i.e., FRB 11.5/100. This designation shows the width of the ring is 11.5 mm and the outside diameter is

The newest design SNL replaces SNH, which replaced SNA. The original SN series can still

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Mounted Bearing & Bearing Housing

100 mm, thus the ring matches a housing bore of 100 mm, i.e., SNL511-609. Note: there are special considerations involving axial displacement versus internal clearance in CARB bearings when used in pillow blocks, including SNL. Consult SKF.

applications, contact Engineering Service



Housing Loads




Grease Lubrication
SNL housings have dimples cast in the caps to indicate where holes can be drilled and tapped for grease fittings. The two outer dimples are for seal re-lubrication, while the others are for bearing re-lubrication. When spherical roller bearings are re-lubricated via the W33 groove, the grease fitting should be placed in the center of the cap. The SNL housing can be ordered with a grease fitting or the cap can be drilled and tapped at the center dimple site. When bearings without the W33 feature are to be relubricated, such as self-aligning ball bearings or CARB bearings, fittings must be located to the right and, or left of the center. These two dimple sites should not be confused with outer dimples for seal lubrication. For information on how to order SNL pillow blocks with lubrication features, such as grease fittings and grease escape holes, as well as initial grease charge (mass) consult the appropriate SKF catalog. The general recommendation for moderate speeds and light loads (C/P > 8.3) is one-third to one-half the volume of free space in the pillow block base. The bearing itself should be filled completely with grease. For high speeds and heavier loads, consult SKF.

Recommended safe housing loads, cap bolt loads and cap bolt torque information is contained in appropriate SKF catalogs and in assembly instructions. SNL cap bolts are made of ISO Grade 8.8 steel.

Oil Lubrication
SNL pillow blocks are suitable for oil lubrication, which can be applied in several ways, such as oil bath, circulating oil (dry sump), and circulating oil (wet sump). Operating conditions dictate which method of lubrication is best. Oil bath is easy to apply and covers most applications. For oil circulation

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