Self-alignment in a traditional bearing versus an Extreme Bearing
The traditional bearing unit portrayed in the drawing contains ball-bearing inserts fitted with a spherical outer ring (marked in red). The idea is that the bearing is self-aligning. However, this is not always the case. What usually happens is that the force (F) holds the outer ring of the insert firmly in the housing, making it difficult or even impossible for the insert to adjust itself. If the bearings are subject to excessive axial loading, the forces generated penetrate through the bearing, causing damage to the balls, inner ring, ball race and even the housing. Ultimately, the insert has to be replaced, while the bearing housing is also damaged permanently in many cases.
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How the Extreme Bearing does the alignment without friction
An Extreme Bearing does not use UC ball bearings with a spherical outer ring, but instead spherical roller bearing with a flat outer ring with a concave raceway. The concave raceway in combination with the spherical rollers operate over a wide range of contact angles thus the rollers align themselves correctly with the shaft and assembly without causing undue stress on the rest of the bearing assembly.
A spherical roller bearing is a rolling-element bearing that permits rotation with low friction, and permits angular misalignment. Typically these bearings support a rotating shaft in the bore of the inner ring that may be misaligned in respect to the outer ring. The misalignment is possible due to the spherical internal shape of the outer ring and spherical rollers
An extreme bearing can handle an alignment error of up to 3 degrees but this depends on which seal is chosen.
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