Understanding Cage Requirements for Tapered Roller Bearings



Designing and manufacturing complex industrial equipment requires attention to detail and confidence in selecting the right components for each unique design. Matching materials and their specific resilience characteristics to the type of industrial application is crucial to ensure long product life at peak performance.

According to Brad Hudson, sales representative at Radio Canada, Timken are the obvious choice when it comes to versatility and maximum component life. Recently, he supplied an industrial engineering customer in Victoria with an order for Timken tapered roller bearings, citing their shelf life and temperature resistance as attractive product features.

The customer’s workshop offers services such as 3D scanning, gear and spline cutting, fabrication, profile cutting and EDM.

“I have a great supply relationship with this company, supplying parts for a range of technical equipment that they use on site,” he says. “Everything they make is of the highest quality, so we offer the right components and service.”

Generally, a TS (Tapered Single) tapered roller bearing consists of four components. They have an inner and outer ring (referred to as a “cone” and “cup”, respectively), tapered rolling elements, and a cage or retainer. The bearing’s taper angle allows for combined radial and axial support when mounted in opposing pairs, and the steeper the angle of the outer ring, the higher the bearing’s axial load carrying capacity.

“We’ve had excellent customer feedback on the Timken line,” continues Brad. “Due to the nature of their work, it was important that we choose heat-resistant materials for these parts, and Timken fulfilled this request perfectly.

Understanding the unique application requirements is key to choosing the right bearing product from Timken. With a large catalog including single row, double row (double outer or inner ring) or flanged outer ring options, it is important to identify the differences and how they fit with load and rolling. First of all, the choice of a cage will depend on the type of environment – ​​be it manufacturing, mineral processing, food and beverage – and its specific requirements.

Stamped steel cages

Stamped steel cages are the most common variety and are complicated parts mass-produced from a sheet of low-carbon steel that has been punched and gradually pressed into shape through a multi-press process. steps. This material is resistant to higher temperatures and can withstand heavy lubrication if necessary.

Polymer cages

Polymer material is useful where pre-greased and pre-sealed bearing designs are applicable. Glass-reinforced nylon thermoplastics are the most common and can be produced in large quantities. This material is lighter than steel and easy to assemble, providing greater design flexibility. However, it is more sensitive to aggressive lubricants and temperatures above 107°C.

Machined cages

Machined cages are recommended for high speed and high load requirements. Their rugged design uses alloy steels and in some cases includes silver plating for added benefits. This type of cage is advantageous because it does not require a close operation and the rollers can be retained with spikes or by “staking”. If additional lubrication is required, oil holes can be included on the cage for easy access.

Pin cages

This particular structure uses two (2) separate cage rings connected by pins, the pins pass through a hole in the center of the rollers and are retained in one cage ring by one thread and welded in place in the other. This cage design normally features at least one removable pin/roller for future inspection of the cone raceway. This type of tapered roller bearing cage is usually an option in larger bearings (exceeding 400mm outside diameter) and is generally suitable for lower speeds. These cages are usually machined from steel and can accommodate a greater number of rolling elements, which increases the load carrying capacity of the bearing.

For more than 50 years, Timken and CBC have worked together to provide premium service to industrial sectors. Both companies are committed to delivering high quality products in competitive lead times to customers nationwide through a well-established supplier network.

“CBC’s storage profile is truly unmatched for national procurement,” says Brad. “Whether bearings, housing units, couplings, chains or belts, we strive to understand each individual activity and use our many years of technical expertise to provide unrivaled solutions.”

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