Manufacturing Blog

Understanding Load Capacity and Axial Stiffness in Slewing Ring Bearings

Posted by Richard Potesta on Thu, May 18, 2023 @ 11:05 AM

Slewing ring bearings are large, specialized bearings used to support heavy loads and provide axial stiffness in applications such as cranes, excavators, wind turbines, and other heavy machinery. Understanding load capacity and axial stiffness is important when selecting and designing slewing ring bearings for specific applications.

Load capacity refers to the maximum weight that a slewing ring bearing can support without deformation or failure. Load capacity is determined by factors such as the size of the bearing, the materials used, and the design of the raceways and rolling elements. Slewing ring bearings can support both radial and axial loads, as well as moment loads that combine radial and axial forces. It is important to carefully calculate the expected loads in an application to ensure that the selected slewing ring bearing can safely support the weight.

Axial stiffness, on the other hand, refers to the resistance of a slewing ring bearing to axial deflection or bending. Axial stiffness is important in applications where precise positioning and stability are required, such as in machine tools or robotics. Axial stiffness is influenced by factors such as the number and size of the rolling elements, the raceway geometry, and the materials used. Higher axial stiffness results in less deflection and better control over the load, but can also increase stress on the bearing and lead to increased wear and fatigue.

When selecting and designing slewing ring bearings, it is important to balance load capacity and axial stiffness to ensure that the bearing can safely support the weight and maintain stability and precision in the application. Other factors to consider include operating speed, temperature, lubrication, and maintenance requirements. Consulting with a bearing manufacturer or engineer can help ensure that the right slewing ring bearing is selected and designed for a specific application.

For more assistance, please contact our application engineers.

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