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Roller bearing or ball bearings... which bearings are right for your machine?

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Polar Star Engineering Services, based in Tecom, Dubai offer end-users "A New Generation of Distribution" for bearings and aftermarket spare parts. Focusing on supplying heavy-industry spares across the 7 Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, & Ajman) we help customers regain their competitive advantage through reducing maintenance intervals, lowering unplanned production stoppages & improving total cost of ownership.

All this is achieved by ensuring customers are supplied with the "right" bearings, whether that is roller bearings or ball bearings. Deciding which bearings are right for your machine means checking your machine requirements, the operating conditions and other important factors. We will not simply supply a list of possible bearings and let you chose what you believe is ok, we will assess your machinery & ensure we understand your equipment and operating conditions, and then select bearings that will deliver the best performance for your application.

Partnered with NTN bearings, and as a key MRO industrial bearings distributor, we are able to supply a wide range of NTN-SNR bearings, lubrication and maintenance tools designed for OEM machinery but manufactured for aftermarket end-users.

Our range of aftermarket bearings & spares

  • Roller bearings (spherical, cylindrical, tapered, self-aligning)

  • Ball bearings (radial ball bearings, deep groove ball bearings, thrust, single row, ...)

  • Housed bearing Units (Pillow blocks, Plummer blocks, split housings,... )

  • Wheel bearings (wheel bearings for off-road vehicles | construction, mining & earthmoving equipment)

  • Insert bearings

  • Lubrication & lubrication systems

  • Maintenance Tools (mounting and dismounting tools)

  • Bearing accessories (end caps, seals, adapter sleeves, ...)

Ball bearings or roller bearings?

Although all bearings have the same basic mechanics – a rolling element set within an internal or external ring and are used to support rotating parts, reduce friction and transfer radial or axial load, with 000's of combinations and bearing types on offer purchasing the right bearing can be daunting. Especially when you need to take account of operating conditions and vibration, speed, load and lubrication are also added to the mix. However, as a basic principle bearings can be classified into two major categories: roller bearings and ball bearings. Their differences are evident in their names. “Ball” bearings use a ball as their rolling element, whereas “roller” bearings use a roller. These different characteristics lend themselves to some important benefits and applications.

Ball bearings are normally best suited to light to medium applications which require higher speeds and lighter loads. Why? The small contact area in these bearings provide low rolling friction, enabling them to accommodate high speeds, but it also limits their load-carrying capacity. Roller bearings, on the other hand, lend themselves to heavy-industry which require heavy loads. With increasing load acting on the bearing, the contact line becomes somewhat rectangular. Because of the larger contact area and the consequently higher friction, a roller bearing can accommodate heavier loads, but lower speeds than a same-sized ball bearing.

Confused? you don't have to be. With years of experience, our team has come to understand industrial applications and the role bearings, lubrication and seals play in boosting machines performance and efficiency. Talk to us and we will ensure the right bearings are selected for your application.

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