A ball bearing is a rotating element which is made up of a combination of balls, bearing races and all created with materials that reduces friction while supporting radial and axial loads. These ball bearings play an important role in machines. A ball bearing consists of four main parts the outer race, the inner race, the rolling balls and the separator. There is a stringent need to maintain the quality standards of the materials used and assembled for these bearings because of the usage in sensitive areas.
Testing them is important and required, if the ball bearings are going to be used in the equipment used in space, medical equipment, or other areas where the precision of these elements ensures accurate working of the equipment.
"Annular Bearings Engineers Committee" (ABEC) has come out with various classes that ensure the quality standards of the various bearing's parts that are created for the specific machines. The quality of ball bearing are tested by verifying for their Tolerance, Torque, Stiffness, Accuracy and Lubrication. These are calculated and tested to exact minute precision units. This makes the ball bearing more predictable and more cost effective.
Tolerance: Ball bearing has to adhere to ABEC tolerance requirement. When the size and form of the ball bearings are calibrated and meets specified standard code or class, then it meets the required quality standard specifications.
Torque: The bearing torque can be calculated and can be tested with Torque quality testing devices. When there is requirement for a very precise equipment then elements performance should be high and maintenance should be low or minimal. Manufacturers have to make sure that the bearings are created with high performance and low maintenance goals in their mind.
Stiffness: While manufacturing the ball bearing, it is important that the stiffness of the components are maintained. It is essential to test for the stiffness of the bearing over prolonged rough usage under various weather conditions. The testing of bearing under various condition such as heat, cold, or fluctuating temperature provides the needed data to make it function across various weather conditions by taking the rectification steps during manufacturing process.
Accuracy: ABEC places a high importance on the ball bearings to be as accurate as possible in their size, dimension and weight. Given that, all bearings which are often made with stainless steel or other alloys do not necessarily be accurate. In order to get the precise count, the parts of the bearings are put through a lot of strict manufacturing process before it is declared ready. It cannot be stressed enough why these parts should be accurate to minute millimeters. Since highest sensitivity of the elements are expected in certain industries where it is used.
Lubrication: Some ball bearings comes with lubrication. In such case, the manufacturers should take great care that no contaminant gets into the lubricated parts of the ball bearing. If the ball bearing gathers dust, then it may not function properly. So it is important to test them in dust-free environment.
The FE Exam
Review Course brushes up on relevant topics listed by NCEES for their FE Exam and through this exam NCEES can assess the knowledge of the Student related to the quality control and quality assurance of production.