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A brief introduction to ball bearings

Ball bearings are an essential component of rotating or oscillating machine elements. They support and guide rotary motion and transmit loads between various components, such as axles, shafts, and wheels.

Ball bearings are a type of rolling bearing that has a spherical rolling element. This ball sits in an annular raceway or groove, resulting in a relatively small contact area. The reduced contact area reduces friction but limits the weight that the bearing can support. Ball bearings are traditionally used in high-speed and low-load applications, where their reduced friction, noise, and vibration help prevent excessive wear.

Ball bearings typically support radial loads or loads that are perpendicular to the shaft. Some types of bearings can support axial loads (parallel to the shaft) but are usually limited to extremely low load capacities.

What are deep groove ball bearings?

Deep groove ball bearings are similar to conventional bearings but have raceways that are closely matched to the dimensions of the balls that run in them. These deep grooves result in balls that are stronger and can support higher loads than bearings with shallow grooves. They still provide low friction, and the deep groove also limits vibration and noise while also allowing some axial load capacity.

If you’ve ever seen any type of ball bearing, chances are you’ve seen a deep groove ball bearing. These bearings are among the most widely used due to their versatility, availability, and low friction. They are ideal for high speeds and offer several advantages over other types of ball bearings.

These bearings come in a variety of styles, sizes, and load capacities, making them ideal for residential or industrial use. It’s also easy to replace traditional bearings with deep groove ball bearings, which can improve machine longevity and efficiency.

Types of deep groove ball bearings

Manufacturers have refined the design of deep groove ball bearings over the years, resulting in several different types. These types are usually better suited for a specific application for which a deep groove ball bearing is not an option.

Single row deep groove ball bearings

This is the typical deep groove bearing that has a single raceway. They are usually robust and made of durable materials, so these bearings have a long service life.

Single row deep groove ball bearings are also divided into other types, ranging from 3mm to 400mm bore size, suitable for almost any application. Some manufacturers also offer thin, narrow, wide, or miniature bearings, depending on customer requirements.

Because deep groove bearings must withstand extreme conditions, manufacturers also offer ceramic-coated bearings that can handle electrical pitting, as well as high-temperature units that can withstand up to 660 degrees F.

One of the latest developments in single-row deep groove ball bearings is the sensor bearing unit, which can measure the condition of ball bearing components. These units are simple and easy to use and can help with speed sensing, angular position measurement, and steering, making them useful in electric motors, tractors, conveyors, and road rollers.

Sealed deep groove ball bearings

Sealed deep groove bearings are similar to single-row bearings, except they have steel or rubber seals on one or both sides of the bearing. These seals are pre-lubricated with grease to extend the life of the bearing.

Many manufacturers use sealed ball bearings in contaminated environments that could otherwise affect the bearing’s performance. The covers help the bearing retain grease while preventing contaminants from entering the bearing itself.

Larger deep groove bearings can even use machined brass cages for high-speed applications where the cage prevents unwanted wear.

Deep groove ball bearings with flange

Some deep groove ball bearings feature a flanged outer ring that functions similarly to a snap ring on standard ball bearings. The flange improves the running efficiency of the bearing and is also easier to machine due to the simplicity of the housing bore.

Flanged deep groove bearings are ideal for supporting axial loads, such as in tube ends or on belt guide rollers. Some variants even have a pivoting housing to allow slight misalignments and better axial loads.

Double row deep groove ball bearings

The double-row design allows for significantly higher load carrying capacity while maintaining low bearing friction. Double-row bearings are usually only slightly wider than their single-row counterparts, making them almost as versatile and practical.

The biggest drawback to double-row deep groove bearings is that they do not come with seals or covers, although some may come with cages. These cages make installation and mounting easier, but are susceptible to mechanical stresses during operation. It is important to select the correct type of cage for the application, especially since some cage materials are sensitive to certain lubricants.

Maximum type ball bearings

These bearings have many more rolling elements than their single and double-row counterparts. These extra balls allow for higher performance and greater precision without sacrificing efficiency or longevity. Like single-row deep groove bearings, they can be either open or covered, depending on the application and requirements.

The advantages of deep groove ball bearings

Deep groove bearings have several advantages over conventional bearings. These include:

Ability to support radial and axial loads.

One of the major disadvantages of conventional bearings is their inability to support axial loads. Most deep groove bearings can support about 50% of their radial load in the axial plane, although some smaller bearings can only support about 25% of the radial load. This ability to support axial and radial loads makes deep groove bearings exceptionally versatile and has made them popular in a variety of industries.

Low friction

Deep groove ball bearings generate less friction than standard bearings, which translates into cost savings in several ways. For one, the operating temperature of the bearing is lowered, which extends the life of the bearing. Second, the bearing makes it less expensive to operate the machine due to higher efficiency and lower maintenance requirements. The low friction also results in lower noise and vibration, making these bearings ideal for high rotation environments where they require less lubrication than their traditional counterparts.

Easy to install

Deep groove bearings are easy to install, resulting in simplified mounting and increased load-carrying capacity. Many manufacturers are taking advantage of deep groove bearings and reducing machine housing dimensions, resulting in smaller and lighter assemblies. Deep groove bearings also fit into the conventional bearing housing, making it easy to replace conventional bearings with their superior counterparts.

Common uses of deep groove ball bearings

Every rotating part uses a ball bearing, and thanks to the benefits of deep groove bearings we’ve discussed, they are the most common type of bearing.


Deep groove ball bearings are essential components of heavy machinery. They are especially useful in:

– Gearboxes

– motors

– pumps

– construction machinery

– Machinery and equipment

– Wind turbines

– Agricultural machinery

– Mining machinery

– Machine tools

– Office equipment

– Medical equipment

– Food processing machinery

– Aerospace


Deep groove  bearings are not only used in industry but are also commonly found in household appliances. Every appliance with a motor has at least one deep groove bearing, including washing machines, dryers, vacuum cleaners, and dishwashers.

They’re also found in computer fans, pool pumps, and even skateboards. Even a fidget toy is made up of multiple bearings that allow the toy to spin in multiple directions.

Most of these deep groove ball bearings are shielded, which means they don’t need constant lubrication or maintenance. However, some are open, and adding a proper lubricant can extend the life and effectiveness of the bearing. Fortunately,  bearings are also cheap and easy to replace if necessary. For details, please visit:



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