A thrust bearing is a particular type of rotary bearing. Like other rotary bearings they permit rotation between parts, but they are designed to support a high axial load while doing this (parallel to the shaft). Different kinds of thrust bearings are used to support different amounts of axial load. Thrust ball bearings are used in applications that use little axial load, where a ring supports ball bearings. Spherical roller thrust bearings are used in applications that require high axial load, and can also support shafts that are out of alignment. Thrust bearings are used in higher speed applications that require oil lubrication, such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. Generally, thrust bearings are composed of two washers (raceways) in which those for ball bearings may be grooved, and the rolling elements.
Thrust Bearings Product Line
Thrust bearings come in several varieties including:
Ball Thrust Bearings –
Composed of ball bearings supported in a ring, can be used in lower thrust applications where there is little radial load. Washers may be flat or grooved. Miniature thrust bearings starting with bores as small as 2 mm but as large as 340 mm.
Roller Thrust Bearings –
Composed of cylindrical rolling elements, Roller thrust bearings have higher load carrying capacities then equally sized ball thrust bearings. Washers are typically flat (not grooved). Small roller thrust bearings start at 45 mm bores.