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Hartford Technologies Blog

Benefits of High Performance Bearings for Automotive Manufacturers

Posted: Sep 23, 2019 11:45:00 AM

Bearings enable smooth, low friction motion. In a perfect world they'd all be super light, extremely compact, maintenance-free, quiet and durable. In other words, perfectly optimized for automotive applications. Unfortunately the world isn't perfect, but high performance bearings can come close. Here's some guidance on their use for those in automotive manufacturing.

Rolling or Sliding Bearings for Automotive Applications

HT Auto-B1-1094-VIDEO-SUDE BRG-2-HQSliding element bearings are those with a smooth, low friction surface. They're used around the crankshaft, camshaft and connecting rods because they'll absorb very high loads. Elsewhere in the automobile friction reduction is handled by rolling element bearings.

These use balls or rollers that separate an outer and inner race. A cage holds them in place while leaving them free to roll as the inner of outer race turns. It's this rolling motion that minimizes friction.

High Performance Bearings in Automotive Manufacturing

Rolling element bearings can be designed for radial loads, axial loads, or both. Load carrying capacity is proportional to the number of balls or rollers and their diameter. High performance bearings pack high capacity into a small volume. They can be designed for a wide range of rotational speeds, including applications where speed varies quickly. In addition, bearing designers can incorporate self-aligning capabilities, which simplifies assembly into mechanisms and reduces costs.

Other features of high performance bearings are their quiet, smooth motion and long life. This results from the materials used and the precision with which they're manufactured. They can also be engineered to be effectively maintenance-free.

Benefits of Using High Performance Automotive Bearings

  1. Packaging/space/envelope. High performance bearings can be designed to take up very little room.
  2. Perception of quality. Motion will be quiet and smooth, helping make the driver feel he's in a high-end vehicle.
  3. Durability. Careful selection of materials along with painstaking design and engineering analysis ensures bearings can exceed vehicle life.
  4. Assembly simplification. The self-aligning capability can allow design simplification elsewhere and make it easier to build-up the complete mechanism.
  5. Lightweight. Careful design and rigorous material evaluation and selection result in bearings that deliver high performance for their size and mass.

Example Automotive Applications

High performance automotive bearings are used throughout the modern automobile. Seat track rails are one example. This application calls for high load carrying capacity along with exceptionally smooth and quiet motion. And as with everything automotive, weight must be minimized.


A second example is steering column bearings. Drivers take for granted that the wheel will turn smoothly but space for the bearing is often severely limited. Again, a high performance bearing that provides good feel and high load-carrying capacity in a small package is the answer.

About Hartford Technologies

Having manufactured bearings since the 1930's. Our engineers understand the specialized demands of automotive manufacturing and are skilled in creating innovative, problem-solving designs. To learn more about our manufacturing processes we invite you to contact us today.