Self-Aligning Ball Bearings
Self-aligning ball bearings are ball bearings with two rows of balls, where the inner raceway has a groove for each row of balls and the outer raceway has only one groove for both rows of balls. They are self-align bearings because they are insensitive to angular misalignment. That is, the outer and inner races are self-centering due to the flexibility between the two rings. Self-aligning bearings, therefore, have low noise and provide superior light load performance with minimum friction and maintenance. Additionally, the self-aligning bearings have great performance at high speeds and can accommodate both static and dynamic misalignment.
When the alignment of a shaft or housing is difficult and the axial load is generally low, a self-alignment bearing may provide the low friction rolling capability needed. These are ideal when the shaft may bend slightly, causing a deflection in the bearing. The way the bearing self-aligns helps correct for any bending in the shaft while maintaining low rotational friction.