Understanding the Ball Bearing Basics

A ball is an oddly shaped oblong object with many different purposes. It’s used in sports, especially where the sport of ball playing follows the dynamics of the ball once it’s hit, tossed or thrown. Balls can even be played for simple physical activities, like juggling or catch. In games of basketball, tennis or soccer, balls are used fielders to shoot the ball into the basket or goal. The rules of these games allow balls to be either played with inside or outside the basket, but some still prefer to throw or catch them. Even some defensive players on team play use balls during certain periods of play to try and get the ball out from under a competitor’s defense.


Ball play dates back to ancient times when hunting tribes would throw their animal traps into the water to attract a boar or wild boar, hoping the animal would come calling again. Later, balls were made to be used as weapons. One ancient example of ball combat is the battle between Xerxes and Roxane, son of Peisithus and Othello, in the Greece’s third century BC. While trying to protect his sister Electra from her husband Marc Antony, Roxane threw a ball at Marc that broke his bones.

Ball bearings can take on many shapes, depending on the need of that particular device. They’re usually made out of steel or rolled steel, which are shaped and polished to give a smooth surface. Because of their irregular size, ball bearings must be manufactured in large quantities, which explains why they tend to cost more than other similar products, such as gears. Still, because ball bearings have proven to be an effective tool and are very common in all kinds of industries, they’re affordable and readily available at most any store.

A radial load is another kind of ball bearing. This type is typically used on larger machines. The radial load is different from a thrust load because it relies on magnetic force rather than kinetic energy for its support. For example, if a machine needs to lift something heavier than it normally does, then a radial load will be more effective than a thrust load.

There are two different kinds of steel ball bearings. They are either full rotational (which means that they spin in one direction) or full radial. Full rotational bearings allow for the rotation of both sides of the spindle at the same time. Radial load ball bearings allow only one side of the spindle to spin at a time. Although there are several advantages of radial load ball bearings, they tend to be less efficient than full rotational bearings. They also require more maintenance and tend to wear out much faster.

There are several different kinds of ball bearings, including oil ball bearings, rotary ball bearings, and reciprocating ball bearings. All of these types have their own special properties and features. Understanding these unique features will help you determine which type of bearings will best meet your specific needs.