Purpose of Tapered Roller Bearings

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Tapered roller bearings are bearings that can take both axial loads (sideways or thrust forces), as well as radial loads (downward force).   Looking at the diagram below, the bearing angle determines how much axial and radial load the bearing can sustain.


Looking at the diagram below, the inner and outer ring raceways are segments that are made with a taper. This is done so that the conical surfaces of the raceways and the roller axes if projected, will all meet at a common point, or apex, on the main axis of the bearing.

The conical geometry in the bearing uses line contact, which permits greater loads to be carried than with a point contact (ball) bearing. The rollers are guided by a flange on the back of the inner ring (See Diagram of Tapered Roller Bearing). This stops the rollers from sliding out at high speed due to their momentum. The larger the half angles of these cones, the greater the axial load the bearing can sustain.

In wheel bearing applications, both radial and axial loads are present. The weight of the vehicle creates the downward load, which is the radial load.  The axial load, or thrust load, is created by the turning of the vehicle.

 

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