Bearings • Needle Bearings
Needle bearings use cylindrical rollers to reduce friction. They are structured with an inner race, a needle cage, needle rollers, and an outer race. Radial needle bearings are cylindrical with rollers parallel to the shaft's axis while the thrust needle bearings are flat with a radial pattern of needles. They need oil lubrication typically for high loads and speeds. Relative to its radial space, they have high load capacity but its bore diameter is limited to 10 inches. The full complement design has a full complement of needles and without a retainer. The caged needle design contains a retainer and spacing. Caged needle bearings have smaller roller parts and smaller load capacities than full-complement bearings.
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Smith designs and manufactures cam followers (needle rollers). There are two dozen series' of needle rollers to choose from, including full compliment, yoke type, crowned yoke type, stud type, single row, double row, stainless steel, and many others.
AST is a needle roller bearing supplier with types available. Drawn-cup types have a pressed steel outer ring, while the solid type features a machined outer ring. There are also cage-and-roller assemblies without rings. Precision needle roller bearings are also available. All come in metric and inch sizes.