What Are Conveyor Bearings?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Conveyors are systems used to transport items or materials from one location to another within a space. The specific design of the system can vary significantly, and each system is likely to feature conveyor bearings that facilitate easy movement of parts. Some conveyor bearings are mounted within rollers or cylinders that make up the conveyor system, while others may be mounted within engine components. Still others may be used directly on the conveyor system to facilitate movement of large items without the use of cylinders or rollers.

The bearings used directly on a conveyor system are sometimes called flange ball conveyor bearings. They are mounted to a platform or deck, and work because a ball mounted within its own frame will move freely when objects are placed on top of it. Several of these flange balls will be mounted on the platform to create a surface on which the items can roll or slide. These conveyor bearings are particularly useful on systems that require items to be moved in various directions rather than just in a linear fashion. This is also a beneficial system in terms of maintenance, since an individual ball can be replaced if damaged without having to replace the entire system.


Other conveyor bearings may be mounted within specific components of the conveyor system. Many conveyors feature rolling cylinders in which bearings must be mounted to ensure free movement during use. The bearings are usually press fit into either end of the cylinder, and an axle will run through the cylinder and the bearings. This axle will then be mounted to the conveyor frame, and Items to be transported will roll over the cylinders. The bearings may be serviceable as well to extend the life of the cylinder, though sealed bearings can usually just be pressed out and replaced with new bearings.

Many conveyor systems use sealed conveyor bearings to prevent dirt and other grit from getting into the bearing and causing premature wear. Sealed bearings are tightly sealed with a plastic or metal cover, and the bearings inside are packed with grease to ensure free movement. Non-sealed bearings will instead feature a cone that presses against the bearings, and a lock nut to keep that cone in place. When the lock nut and cone are removed, the bearings are free to fall out of the casing, but they can also be serviced easily by packing new grease into that bearing.


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