An Overview of Bearing Retainer and Cages


A bearing retainer, also known as a bearing cage, is a type of hardware component that is used for linear and rotary bearings so as to establish a distance between each rolling element. With retainers and cages, the amount of wear to both components is minimized and heat is reduced, allowing for longer service lives of the hardware. Depending on the need or application, a number of Retainer Bearing Assembly types and materials may be used, each providing their own benefits. In this blog, we will provide an overview of ball bearing cages and retainers, discussing their use, construction, and applications so that you can find the best fit for your needs.

Generally, retainer bearing components are placed within assemblies to ensure that the bearing balls do not contact one another for higher speeds. By retaining grease within the system, friction is reduced and accuracy is maintained while the retainer avoids radial movements. To ensure this, the retainer bearing may be assisted by either a ring or one of the balls. With one of the surfaces of either the inner or outer ring, the ball bearing cage may be guided. With all cages and retainers, frictional forces may be produced due to the rubbing contact between components. To accommodate for various applications and environments, alongside reducing friction, different materials, designs, and types of Retainer and Ball Bearing cages may be used.

With designs such as Retainer Half Bearing components, retainer sleeve bearing components, and more, there are many types of components that may be used for specific applications. In general, the bearing cage design for a roller bearing assembly may come in one of two forms, those being crown and ribbon types. With a crown retainer bearing assembly, an open-ball pocket design is presented in a single piece. The ribbon retainer, on the other hand, is also open-ball, but is two-piece in design. While both provide similar functionalities, the choice between the two often depends upon the manufacturer specification, and some applications require one or the other. Furthermore, some applications may be unable to accommodate a roller bearing assembly with a retainer, such as in instances in which there are high loads and low speeds. As such, one should always take the materials and product specifications of the application into consideration when choosing what retainer and roller bearing components are needed.

To construct a bearing retainer or Bearing Cage, a number of metals may be used, including those such as solid bronze, heat-treated aluminum, and pressed steel. Additionally, non-metallic metals may also be used for such retainers or cages, and the most common materials include phenolic resins, nylon, and PTFE. The material chosen for the construction of the retainer and roller bearings is important, as it will affect their performance. For example, brass cages are very beneficial for applications in which components are exposed to harsh and corrosive environments, and they provide advantageous noise capabilities. With non-metallic cages, their lightweight design and robustness allows them to withstand high speeds and heavy loads presented by applications such as within machine tools.

All in all, considerations that should be made when procuring retainer and ball bearing components include the environmental conditions present, applications loads and speeds, the amount of vibration, lubrication, acceleration, and more. When it comes time to begin sourcing the retainer half bearing, Retainer Sleeve Bearing, and ball bearing aircraft components that you need for your operations, let the experts at Aerospace Orbit help you secure everything you are searching for with ease. As a top supplier of aviation components, we offer rapid lead-times and competitive pricing on all we carry for our customers’ benefit. Get started on the purchasing process today by filling out and submitting an Instant RFQ form as provided through our website.


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