Items You Didn’t Know Utilized Bearings
Most people probably don’t consider the critical role in which bearings and bearings-related products play in their daily lives. Despite their simple appearance, bearings literally help the world move. Bearings make it possible for a wide range of tools and equipment to function, from simple spinning toys to complex machinery used in space exploration.
Bearings have been utilized for hundreds of years in a variety of industries, applications, and machines. They come in various types and sizes. There are also different materials that bearings are manufactured from such as steel, plastic, or even ceramic.
It is likely that you have used something that contains bearings at least once in your life. There are many examples of tools, equipment, and machinery which utilize bearings.
Here are some of the many applications that use bearings and bearings-related products.
Bearings are found in the critical components of all motor vehicles such as the engine, steering, driveshaft, and driveline. The automotive industry uses bearings such as tapered roller bearings and deep groove ball bearings in wheel hub bearing units. Bearings can boost vehicle performance, reduce friction, minimize CO2 emissions and improve overall fuel efficiency.
Electrical devices and equipment that are often found in a conventional office also have bearings in them. Devices such as photocopiers, fax machines, and printers all contain needle bearings and deep groove ball bearings. Computers contain bearings as well; they are very small and can usually be found in the computer’s hard drive.
Home Furniture and Appliances
In a typical home, you can find a myriad of items that contain bearings: Blu-ray players, video game consoles, smart TVs, CD and DVD players. Other common household appliances that contain bearings include; air conditioners, washing machines, dryers, and electric fans. There are also many non-electrical devices in your home that contain bearings. For instance, bar stools, can openers, and kitchen drawers have bearings that enable them to slide or pivot smoothly. Remember, anything in your home that rotates or has a pivot point likely uses bearings.
Items as simple as children’s toys also utilize bearings. Toy trains, trucks, remote-controlled cars, and almost anything that has a mechanically moving part most likely has a bearing in it.
Yo-yos and jumping ropes, which don’t require batteries or contain any electrical components, also utilize bearings. Yo-yos, specifically, have ceramic bearings instead of the more common steel bearings for better performance and corrosion prevention. As for jump ropes, many top of the line variants are equipped with precision swivel ball bearings to help reduce friction and improve the rope’s rotation speed.
Toys such as bicycles, skateboards, roller skates and scooters, also contain bearings. Skateboards, for instance, are equipped with 608 standard bearings to reduce friction between the metal in its wheels and the axle on which each wheel spins. Scooters, on the other hand, have sealed and shielded bearings that provide them with maximum protection for outdoor use.
Space and Scientific Equipment
Apart from the objects we use in our daily lives, bearings are also utilized in scientific and technologically advanced applications. For instance, all-weather satellites are equipped with bearings, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mars Rover.
Buildings can have bearings, too. Earthquake-proof buildings, in particular, are equipped with giant ball bearings to prevent them from collapsing or becoming a safety hazard in the event of an earthquake. To illustrate, the new San Francisco International Airport has 267 columns that support the weight of the airport. Each of these columns sits atop a giant steel ball bearing with a diameter of five feet, or 1.5 meters. The bearing, in turn, is placed in a concave base that connects to the ground. During an earthquake, the ground can move up to 20 inches in any direction. The columns and bearings help minimize the building’s movement by isolating it from the motion of the ground. When the tremors are over, gravity returns the columns to the center of their bases.
As you can see, bearings should not be underestimated. Over the last few years, manufacturers have made significant developments using the latest technology to improve bearings, lubrication, and molding. This helps producers meet the sophisticated demands of consumers and provide them with more functional and energy-efficient products.
Searching for a specific bearing? Consolidated Bearings Company supplies quality products tailored to our customers’ most particular needs, with an emphasis on providing maximum performance precision, and functionality. From Spherical roller bearings for paper and steel mills to miniature bearings required in dental drills, bearings play a vital role in the performance of items that consumers use on a daily basis.
Contact one of our customer service representatives today to learn more!