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6 Components of Electric Motor Bearings


The electric motor bearing is the root of everything in an electric motor and critical to the smooth operation of it. As a result, there are many different electric motor bearing types and designs available for electric motors, depending on factors such as:

  • Bearing Load
  • Bearing Speed
  • Operating Environment
  • Mounting Arrangement

Diagram of a bearing for use in electric motor service in Knoxville, TN

But most bearing types and designs have these components:

1 – Ball

The tiny chrome steel spheres that form the smallest critical part of any ball bearing. They must be perfectly spherical in shape in order to roll smoothly within the bearing itself.

2 – Raceway

The raceway is a circular groove between the outside surface on the inner ring and the inside surface on the outer ring of a ball bearing. This creates a circular track or “raceway” for the balls contained within the bearing.

3 – Shields

A shield for a bearing is a covering on the bearing that helps retain lubricant for the bearing while preventing contaminants from entering the raceway and interfering with the smooth roll of the balls within. There are many different designs of bearing shields that provide varying degrees of protection against contaminants, depending on the operating environment of the bearing.

4 – Lubricant

Lubricant is a grease or oil that is a critical component of a ball bearing. It reduces friction and promotes the free movement of the balls within the raceway of the bearing. Lubricants also protect the bearing from uneven wear and deformation. Lubricants come in many different formulas based on the design and function of the bearing.

5 – Cages

The cage is a tiny component that surrounds each ball within the bearing and divides them to be spaced evenly within the bearing’s raceway. It is a separator that ensures that balls within the ball bearing stays balanced when in motion.

6 – Bore Diameter

The bore diameter is the diameter of the inner race. Some have mistaken the bore to be shaft itself, but if this was the case, then the bearing wouldn’t fit within the race at all. The bore diameter is a tiny bit larger than the shaft in order to facilitate free movement of the bearing within.

Tekwell Maintains and Services Electric Motor Bearings

Tekwell Services has been providing preventive maintenance services for electrical motors (and the bearings within them) for well over 20 years now. Give us a call (toll-free) at 1-888-984-4668 or fill out our quick solution form to reach out to one of our preventive electrical motor service experts today.