Thrust Needle Roller Bearings
A needle thrust bearing houses a series of needle-like cylindrical rollers. Often used in confined spaces, needle roller thrust bearings do not necessarily need to have the outer raceways — as an adjacent component can act as a raceway — and thereby take up minimal cross-sectional space. However, they may be manufactured as a complete unit with the outer and inner raceways. Centering flanges that are made of the same material with the same size needle rollers can be utilized as an abutment to help maintain the centering of the shaft.
Despite the thin bearing, a thrust needle roller bearing possesses a high degree of stiffness and rigidity. Thrust needle roller bearings have a low coefficient of friction, meaning they can withstand high rotational speeds. In addition, axial conical thrust cage needle roller bearings can support greater axial loads than other roller bearings of the same dimensions. Needle thrust bearings are used in the automotive industry, machining tools and, more generally, high axial load applications that require fast rotations.