Roller bearings — also known as rolling-element bearings — are similar to ball bearings in that they are designed to carry a load while minimizing friction.
However, roller bearings transmit loads using cylinder rolling elements, rather than balls, to maintain the separation between moving parts of the bearing.
These versatile bearings can contain single or multiple rows of rolling elements; multiple rows can significantly improve radial load capacity. Also, the use of different roller shapes can further reduce friction and support both radial and axial loads.
While roller bearings can handle higher loads than conventional ball bearings, their applications are generally limited to low-speed operations. Many types of roller bearings are self-aligning, and are easily able to overcome misalignment and mounting issues — cutting down on maintenance, repair, and labor needs.
Roller bearings come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and can be customized for specialized situations. Also, the use of flanges, cages, and multiple bearing rows can allow for higher performance to meet specific application needs.