Thrust Bearings

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A thrust bearing is a particular type of rotary bearing. Like other bearings they permit rotation between parts, but they are designed to support a predominantly axial load.

Thrust ball bearings, composed of bearing balls supported in a ring, can be used in low thrust applications where there is little axial load.
Cylindrical thrust roller bearings consist of small cylindrical rollers arranged flat with their axes pointing to the axis of the bearing. They give very good carrying capacity and are cheap, but tend to wear due to the differences in radial speed and friction which is higher than with ball bearings.
Tapered roller thrust bearings consist of small tapered rollers arranged so that their axes all converge at a point on the axis of the bearing. The length of the roller and the diameter of the wide and the narrow ends and the angle of rollers need to be carefully calculated to provide the correct taper so that each end of the roller rolls smoothly on the bearing face without skidding. These are the type most commonly used in automotive applications (to support the wheels of a motor car for example), where they are used in pairs to accommodate axial thrust in either direction, as well as radial loads. They can support greater thrust loads than the ball type due to the larger contact area, but are more expensive to manufacture.
Spherical roller thrust bearings use asymmetrical rollers of spherical shape, rolling inside a house washer with a raceway with spherical inner shape. They can accommodate combined radial and axial loads and also accommodate misalignment of the shafts. They are often used together with radial spherical roller bearings. Spherical roller thrust bearings offer the highest load rating density of all thrust bearings.[1]
Fluid bearings, where the axial thrust is supported on a thin layer of pressurized liquid—these give low drag.
Magnetic bearings, where the axial thrust is supported on a magnetic field. This is used where very high speeds or very low drag is needed, for example the Zippe-type centrifuge.
Thrust bearings are commonly used in automotive, marine, and aerospace applications. They are also used in the main and tail rotor blade grips of RC (radio controlled) helicopters.

Thrust bearings are used in cars because the forward gears in modern car gearboxes use helical gears which, while aiding in smoothness and noise reduction, cause axial forces that need to be dealt with.

Thrust bearings are also used with radio antenna masts to reduce the load on an antenna rotator.

One specific thrust bearing in an automobile is the clutch "throw out" bearing, sometimes called the clutch release bearing.

SKF 353118 Thrust Bearings

1300 r/min 84.5 kN
466.725 mm 79.375 mm

SKF 353005 Custom Bearing Assemblies

0.5512 in 0.06 in
1.11 in 1470 lbf

SKF 353162 Cylindrical Roller Thrust Bearings

10 N/mm² 0.05
20 mm 3 mm

SKF 350980 C Thrust Bearings

339.999 mm 153 kg
SNW 3044x7.15/16 1/4 NPT

KOYO 83a915 Bearing

30 mm 2 x FRB 22/600
600 N·m 4200 kN

SKF BFSB 353320/HA4 Tapered Roller Thrust Bearings

2 x TK 76 MS 3172-68
25 mm 2600 kN

SKF BFSB 353312/HA1 Cylindrical Roller Thrust Bearings

814 mm 6.4 mm
23.5 mm 876.3 mm

SKF BFSB 353210 Thrust Bearings

4.734 kN 17 mm
36 max 18 000 min-1

SKF BFSB 353901/HA4 Needle Roller and Cage Thrust Assemblies

56.00 mm 345000 N
220.000 mm 6200 rpm

SKF 351573 Custom Bearing Assemblies

22 mm 20 mm
41.5 kN 100 N/mm²

SKF BFSB 353247 Screw-down Bearings

HME 31/630 M 8
120 mm 800 mm

SKF BFSB 353201 Tapered Roller Thrust Bearings

198.438 mm 57.15 mm
212 kN 82.55 mm