Thin-section Bearings Information

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Thin-section BearingsThin-section bearings have small cross-sections with respect to their diameter.  They are designed to save space, lower the weight of a design and reduce friction.  Thin and extra thin-section bearings are available in inch or metric sizes and in chrome or stainless steel.  These bearings are also available with cages for high-speed applications, and with extended inner rings.


Thin-section bearings are manufactured to industry standard sizes. The bearing widths and distance from bore to outside diameter remains constant regardless of the change in bore diameter.


Installation Practices


Standard bearing installation practices can be used in conjunction with thin-section bearings.  Both the inner and outer rings can simply be pushed into place, on the housing and shaft respectively. Installation should only be performed in a clean, contamination free area as thin-section bearings lack seals and grit or other contaminants could get into the bearings and disrupt their performance.


Measurement and Inspection


Due to the large diameters and thin sections of these bearings, it is necessary to address measurement and inspection. To accurately measure the bore diameter and the outside diameter of these thin section bearings special procedures must be followed. Special gages allow three to five measurements around the circumference of the diameter to be taken. These measurements are then averaged to determine the true measurement of the bearing in the unmounted free state. This procedure allows for inherent out-of-roundness.


Load Ratings and Bearing Dimensional Data


Thin-section BearingsLoad ratings and bearing dimensional data may be compiled from industry standard data as well as ABMA and ANSI information and formulas for your thin-section bearing application.  To calculate the theoretical L10 life in hours while including application dynamic loading, application speeds (rpm) and defined catalog load capacities (C) use the following industry standard formula.

Using the catalog load capacities where:

L10 = 16,667/S  * (C/P)3

C = dynamic rating in catalog

P = application applied load

S = application speed in RPM

L10 = theoretical bearing L10 life in hours




Thin-section BearingsThin-section ball bearings are generally used in applications with space, weight, and load constraints. Some typical applications for standard thin-section ball bearings include:


  • Machine tools
  • Medical equipment
  • Packaging and textile machinery
  • Satellite systems
  • Radar and satellite equipment
  • Material handling equipment
  • Aerospace, optical and manufacturing equipment



ABMA STD 26.2 - Thin Section Ball Bearings Inch Design - This standard specifies the boundary dimensions and the tolerances for boundary dimensions, running accuracies and internal clearances for thin section ball bearings of single row radial contact, angular contact and four-point angular contact types.




Image Credits:


RBC Bearings | THK America, Inc. | Schatz Bearing Corp.


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