What are the differences between bearings and seals?
Bearings are mechanical assemblies consisting of rolling elements designed to constrain relative motion, as well as to transmit forces. These components reduce friction between moving parts, permitting radial rotation, linear motion, spherical rotation and hinge motion.
A typical bearing consists of inner and outer races or rings which are used for rotating or linear shaft applications. These rings are commonly made from high-purity, chrome alloy steel. Materials such as ceramic and plastics can also be used. Other elements of a bearing typically include the rolling elements and a cage.
Industrial seals are used to hold pressure, prevent leakage and deflect contamination at interfaces between components. In the case of adhesion, sealants play a large role in the effectiveness of a seal, whereas compression is important in the case of gaskets.
Different materials such as industrial rubber, Fluorosilicone (FVMQ), Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Polyurethane (AU, EU) and others are commonly used for seals.
Types of bearings
Bearings can be classified into different types, depending on the type of operation, motion, and the direction of loads or forces applied. The six most common types of bearings include:
Rolling element bearings (including rolling bearings or ball bearings)
Types of seals
Depending on application requirements, different types of seals can be used. Some common types include:
Lip seals or radial shaft seals
Common applications of bearings and seals
Bearings can be found in any application or industry that relies on movement, including automotive, railway, renewable energy, conveyor systems, gearboxes, transmissions, waste-water, aerospace, mining and more.
The application of seals is similar to that of bearings, spanning industries including food processing, water supply, paper production, chemicals and more.