Cylindrical thrust roller bearings consist of small cylindrical rollers arranged flat with their axes pointing to the axis of the bearing. They give very good carrying capacity and are cheap, but tend to wear due to the differences in radial speed and friction which is higher than with ball bearings.
Tapered roller thrust bearings consist of small tapered rollers arranged so that their axes all converge at a point on the axis of the bearing. The length of the roller and the diameter of the wide and the narrow ends and the angle of rollers need to be carefully calculated to provide the correct taper so that each end of the roller rolls smoothly on the bearing face without skidding. These are the type most commonly used in automotive applications (to support the wheels of a motor car for example), where they are used in pairs to accommodate axial thrust in either direction, as well as radial loads. They can support greater thrust loads than the ball type due to the larger contact area, but are more expensive to manufacture.
Thrust bearings are commonly used in automotive, marine, and aerospace applications. They are also used in the main and tail rotor blade grips of RC (radio controlled) helicopters.
Thrust bearings are used in cars because the forward gears in modern car gearboxes use helical gears which, while aiding in smoothness and noise reduction, cause axial forces that need to be dealt with.
Thrust bearings are also used with radio antenna masts to reduce the load on an antenna rotator.
One specific thrust bearing in an automobile is the clutch "throw out" bearing, sometimes called the clutch release bearing.
Shaft washer, housing washer, cylindrical roller and cage thrust assembly can be mounted separately.
Extended bearing service life
To prevent stress peaks, the roller ends are relieved slightly to modify the line contact between the raceway and rollers.
Here are examples of applications in which cylindrical roller thrust bearings might be used:
Trucks, trailers and buses
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