Different Types of Aircraft Bearings

Bearings are mechanical elements that provide rotational motion while reducing friction between moving parts. They are available in a variety of types, depending on one’s operational requirements. For instance, they may be acquired based on the motions your operations allow or the direction of loads applied to your assembly. As such, there are six common types of bearings that function on different principles, all of which will be outlined below.

1.Sliding Bearing

Consisting of a shaft rotating in a hole, sliding bearings are designed in various styles like bushing, journal, sleeve, rifle, and composite types. They can be manufactured in such a way that allows them to move freely in one direction between structural elements. It is considered the simplest of all types as it only contains a bearing surface and lacks a rolling element. Furthermore, they are compact, lightweight, and have a high load-carrying capacity. Sliding bearings are often used for sliding, rotating, oscillating, or reciprocating motion.

2.Rolling Element Bearing

This bearing type has a rolling element between turning and stationary objects that prevents sliding friction. The relative motion of the races permits the rolling element to roll with less rolling resistance and sliding effect. Furthermore, it has a line contact that provides a higher load rating than a ball bearing of the same size. More than that, rolling element bearings can withstand high axial loads. They find use in rotary applications such as wind turbines, rolling mills, gear drives, and more.

Rolling element bearings are available in two main types: ball and roller bearing variations. Ball bearings have spherically shaped rolling elements while roller bearings have, as their name suggests, rollers. More than that, ball bearings have four subcategories, those which include deep groove, angular contact, self-aligning, and thrust ball bearing types. Meanwhile, roller bearings also have four subcategories, those of which are spherical, cylindrical, tapered, and needle roller types.

3.Jewel Bearing

Jewel bearings are composed of an ultra-hard glassy jewel material like sapphire or ruby which reduces the possibility of prolonged friction and wear. They possess a metal spindle that turns into a jewel lined pivot hole. Moreover, they are recognized for their low friction, long life, and dimensional accuracy. They find use in precision instruments, galvanometers, compasses, dial calipers, and more.

4.Fluid Bearing

Fluid bearings are non-contact bearings that support loads with a gas or liquid called an air bearing. If operated properly, they experience little to no wear. They are popularly used in high load, high speed, and high precision applications. Additionally, they are available in two types, those of which include hydrodynamic and hydro-static types.

5.Magnetic Bearing

Within this bearing type, the load is supported by a magnetic field. It has the capacity to support moving parts without necessitating physical contact and works at high speeds with ease. As such, they do not suffer from wear, friction, and experience very low vibration. They find use in various industrial applications, such as electrical power generation, machine tool operation, and others.

6.Flexure Bearing

This type of bearing is often utilized for a wide range of applications as it requires no lubrication and experiences no friction. Moreover, flexure bearings are compact, lightweight, and easy to repair. They are generally used in sensitive precision measuring equipment.


Purchasing Management 360 is a premier distributor of aircraft bearings, all of which have been thoroughly vetted for quality, reliability, and functionality. Our commitment to export compliance and quality assurance has made us a go-to sourcing solution for countless customers. Kickoff the procurement process by requesting a quote on any item that sparks your interest and see how Purchasing Management 360 is revolutionizing part procurement. 


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