Rolling bearings generally comprise two bearing rings with integral raceways. Rolling elements are arranged between the rings and roll on the raceways. Rolling elements can be balls, cylindrical rollers, needle rollers, tapered rollers or barrel rollers.
The rolling elements are generally guided by a cage that keeps them at a uniform distance from each other and prevents them coming into contact with each other. In needle roller bearings and ribless spherical roller bearings, the cage also ensures that the rolling element axis is positioned correctly.
The function of plain bearing arrangements, like rolling bearing arrangements, is to support or guide parts that are movable relative to each other. They must support and transmit the forces occurring in this case.
Whereas the bearing arrangement elements in rolling bearing arrangements are separated from each other by means of rolling parts – rolling elements – the movable component in plain bearing arrangements – normally a shaft, stud or strip – slides on the sliding surface of a static bearing bush, bearing cup or sliding strip.