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NadellagerNeedle roller bearings, which are a type of rolling bearing, are roller bearings with cylindrical rolling elements similar to needles. Due to their particularly low-height, space-saving design they are often used in gearboxes/transmissions.

Needle roller bearings are available in various designs. These include:

  • Needle roller and cage assembly (complete unit including a cage and needle rollers)
  • Needle roller bearing with an inner ring (requires a drawn shaft)
  • Needle roller bearing without an inner ring, but with an outer ring (requires a hardened, polished rolling surface on the shaft)
  • Needle bushing (closed on one side for contamination protection)
  • Adjustable needle bearing (without an inner ring, but with a plastic support ring between the needle rollers and the outer ring)

All versions can be designed with single or double rows or with a full complement of rollers or as light or heavy versions. The following materials are used for the cages:

  • Fibreglass reinforce plastic
  • Sheet metal
  • Brass

Because they include a large number of rolling elements, needle roller bearings with a full complement of rollers can withstand higher loads. Needle roller bearings are differentiated with regard to the direction in which the loads are absorbed: for axial or radial loads or a combination.

Most of the design types can only absorb radial loads and must be adapted precisely for operating temperature and radial bearing clearance. Thrust needle bearings also absorb axial forces, but because the ends of the rolling elements have different circumferences, they are subject to greater friction and wear occurs more quickly. Needle roller bearings are built into many support rollers, pulleys and cam rollers.

The advantages of needle roller bearings are their high load capacity and low installation height. This is due to the contact surface, which is larger than that of a ball bearing. However, their disadvantage is that the permitted speed is lower than for other rolling bearings. In addition, needle roller bearings are sensitive to the “wrong” forces with effects in directions other than the load direction.

Needle roller bearings are standardized according to DIN 616 to 618. They are similar to cylindrical roller bearings (DIN 5412), but from a historical perspective have nothing in common with them. Using needle roller bearings instead of cylindrical roller bearings reduces machine costs because less material is required. The typical application areas for needle roller bearings include the following:

  • Automotive engineering
  • Printing machines
  • Packaging machines
  • Multiple-spindle heads of machine tools
  • Textile machines
  • Book printing machines

Our needle roller bearing product range includes needle roller and cage assemblies, needle sleeves, needle bushings, pulleys, support rollers, inner rings and free-wheel sleeves.