A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Bearings, Their Applications and Working Mechanisms

Choosing the right bearing for your application is an important task. Bearings are essential components of machinery and come in many forms and shapes, allowing for specific types of motion within static or dynamic loading systems. They reduce friction between two metal parts that would otherwise have a high amount of resistance to movement over time, as the bearing surfaces roll over each other and allow motion while decreasing total friction inside the machine.

There are several different types of bearings and bearing spare parts available, depending on the type of application. Let's have a look at the different types, their applications and their working mechanisms in this blog.

Plain Bearings

Plain bearings, also known as bushes, bushings or sleeve bearings, are some of the most commonly used components in engineering and machinery. They are simple cylindrical shapes with no moving parts and are made from either metal or plastic.

Plain bearings are used in machines that contain rotating or sliding shaft components and can provide low-friction operation with minimal wear and tear, making them suitable for low-speed applications as well as general industry machines like pumps, fans and valves.

Spherical Plain Bearings

In spherical plain bearings, the inner ring has an outer surface that is convex, while the outer ring has an inner surface that is concave. This design enables them to handle misalignments and rotational motion, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications like construction equipment, agricultural machinery and industrial machines.

According to a renowned bearing spare parts manufacturer, spherical plain bearings are perfect for applications that require the accommodation of alignment movements between the shaft and housing and can withstand heavy loads or shocks, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications.

Rod-End Bearings

Rod-end bearings, or rose joints, are an often overlooked but incredibly useful alternative to traditional bearings. Their eye-shaped head with an integral shank, which houses a spherical plain bearing, makes them a compact and lightweight option for limited-space applications.

While they do not offer misalignment capabilities, rod-end bearings are easy to mount with their female internal thread and male external thread. Due to their smaller size and resistance to high-velocity impacts during flight manoeuvres, they can be used in various engineering projects, including aerospace engineering applications.


Bushings are essential components in many engineering and machinery applications. In order to provide a supporting surface, an independent element is installed into a housing, making them the most prevalent kind of plain bearing. Bushings come in two standard configurations: sleeve bearings, which have straight inside and outside surfaces with equal diameters and flanged bearings, which have one end formed with a flange for locating it in an assembly as well as covering mounting holes and securing the bearing in place.

Bushings provide low-friction motion support between components while standing up under large loads over extended periods, making them ideal for applications requiring long cycle times or where quiet operation is necessary.

Summing Up

Bearings are essential components in a wide variety of engineering and machinery applications, and there is a wide range of different types available. Every type has special benefits and uses of its own. It's important to understand the differences between the various bearing types to ensure you're using the right one for your application.