The Skinny On Thin Section Bearings

The Skinny On Thin Section Bearings

Made entirely in the USA, SilverThin manufactures thin section bearings for industrial and defense applications. But what, exactly, is a thin section bearing—and what renders it useful? SilverThin helped us answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding Thin Section Bearings. »

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What are Thin Section Bearings?

Thin section bearings are a family of bearings designed from a limited number of widths and thicknesses (cross sections), with each cross-section manufactured in a wide range of bore diameters. The combination of a large bore diameter in proportion to the small cross-section makes these parts appear “thin” in comparison to standard ball bearings.

Most radial ball bearings are designed so that as the bore size increases, the width and the thickness of the bearing change proportionately. In the case of thin section bearings, the cross-section remains the same as the bore diameter increases.

Thin section bearings were created for areas requiring design efficiency, high precision and minimal space.

What Kind of Applications Are Thin Section Bearings Made For?

Thin section bearings are ideal for applications requiring a thin profile. Used in numerous exotic and high tech environments, they provide precision and performance in applications such as robotics, aerospace, machine tools, semiconductor manufacturing and medical equipment.

What Are My Options For Thin Section Bearings?

Thin section bearings are made in one of three different contact styles: radial contact, angular contact or four point contact. These options, along with several ball and retainer types, make for a diverse range of parts even among the limited cross sections of the thin section bearing family.

SilverThin precision bearings are made up of 12 primary cross section sets ranging from 3/16″ to 1″ and with bore sizes ranging from 1″ to over 40″.  They are made from 52100 chrome steel, 440C stainless steel or can be coated with platings like thin dense chrome. Some sizes can also be configured with seals or shields.

When Should I Choose A Thin Section Bearing Over A Standard Ball Bearing?

Thin section bearings help reduce the total cost in a system by allowing for design efficiency over standard bearing sizes. Because thin section bearings have cross sections that don’t change, as bore sizes increase, no change is needed for spatial requirements, and only a slight change is needed for the weight of the bearing.

thin section bearings

Especially in the case of medical equipment, airborne optical and infrared scanning equipment, and robotics, space and weight requirements of a system are major factors in the overall design and manufacturing cost.

In many cases, the price of a thin section bearing is higher than a standard bearing with a similar bore size, but the application and design savings, due to reduced space and lower weight, decrease the total cost in the application.

Creating space and saving weight are also two key considerations when selecting thin section bearings. If you have minimal space, but require rotating movement, check out the SilverThin thin section selection guide.

Learn More About SilverThin Bearings From IBT’s Bearing Experts

Mechanical Power Transmission has been a cornerstone of the IBT Industrial Solutions business since the company was founded in 1949. If you’re looking for the knowledge and expertise you need to keep your applications up-and-running, contact us or give us a call at 913-677-3151!




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