AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

what are the Different Types of Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are rolling-element bearings that have rolling spheres between their inner and outer raceways to support radial and axial loads acting on rotating and reciprocating shafts. As they provide high performance and long service lives that can transfer the load from the balls to the inner race, these bearings are often used when smooth, low friction is required in rotary applications. Generally, ball bearings can be classified into varying types based on their design and construction. Since there is a wide range of ball bearing types available on the market, this blog will cover the most common variations and their uses.

Angular Contact Ball Bearing

Angular contact ball bearings are designed with inner and outer ring raceways that are slightly displaced relative to each other in the direction of the bearing axis. As such, they are made to accommodate both radial and axial loads. Furthermore, angular contact ball bearings come in a number of styles, with shielding or seals that protect against contamination and serve as retainers for lubricants.

They are often made from stainless steel, ceramic hybrid materials, or plastic, each of which can be plated with chrome, cadmium, or other materials. More than that, they can be pre-lubricated, re-lubricated, or can feature solid lubrication. These bearings are designed in a few common subtypes, those of which include single row, double row, and four points angular contact ball bearing variations. 

Deep Groove Ball Bearing

Deep groove ball bearings are the most common ball bearing type and can be procured in seal, shield, and snap-ring arrangements. In addition, the race dimensions closely match the dimensions of the balls that are within the raceways, and they are equipped to support heavy loads. While deep groove ball bearings provide radial and axial support, their contact angle cannot be adjusted to suit the relative levels of such loads. There are two popular subtypes, those of which are single row and double row groove ball bearing types.

Thrust Ball Bearing

Thrust ball bearings are considered a special type of ball bearing because they are designed specifically for axial loads. They exhibit low noise, smooth operation, and are best-suited for high-speed applications. Like their counterparts, thrust ball bearings are available in a few subtypes, including single direction and double direction thrust ball bearing types.

Duplex Ball Bearing

This last ball bearing type is a combination of two angular contact ball bearings. They may be designed in a face-to-face combination that has the outer ring faces together (type DF), back-to-back (type DB), or both front faces in the same direction (type DT). For DF and DB duplex ball bearings in particular, radial and axial loads can be supported in either direction. Meanwhile, type DT is utilized when there is a strong axial load in one direction, imposing the load equally on each bearing.

Conrad Ball Bearing

Conrad ball bearings are assembled by implementing the inner ring into an eccentric position relative to the outer ring so that the two rings touch at one point, creating a large gap opposite to the point of contact. The balls are inserted through the gap and are evenly distributed around the bearing assembly, enabling the rings to become concentric. Moreover, a cage keeps the balls in their position relative to each other. While they have a lower load capacity due to the limited number of balls that can be loaded into the assembly, they have the ability to withstand both radial and axial loads.


Alpha Purchasing is a leading supplier of ball bearings, some of which include the aforementioned types as well as other common variations like slot-fill ball bearings, self-aligning ball bearings, and various others. Get started today and request a competitive quote on any featured item, and in as little as 15 minutes or less, a dedicated representative will reach out with a customized solution that keeps your part requirements in mind. For additional questions, call or email us at any time; we are available 24/7x365!


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