Crossed roller bearings, also known as crossed roller slides, are a type of linear bearing that uses cylindrical rollers oriented 90 degrees relative to each other to form a “crossed” pattern. This gives the bearings
a line of contact rather than a single point, allowing for increased load capacity compared to ball bearings. It also allows these bearings to accommodate both radial and axial forces in both directions, often eliminating the need for a second bearing location. Additionally, these cylindrical bearings
do not recirculate, producing a much smoother motion and reduced wear. They are well known for their rigidity and high accuracy in applications requiring short linear movements and smooth motion such as lab equipment, automation
machinery, material handling, and semiconductor processing. As with all bearings, crossed roller bearings come in a wide variety of designs and variations. Design options include mounting holed type, which features mounting holes on both inner and outer rings, allowing for easy installation. High rigidity features an inseparable, one-piece construction for improved load capacity, whereas standard design features a two-piece outer ring. Cage material can greatly impact bearing performance; metal cages such as steel are more compatible in vacuum environments and other harsh operating conditions. Plastic cages can be more space-effective, allowing for increased contact area and therefore increased load capacity. It’s also important to prevent cage creep in crossed roller slides, which may require regular maintenance and realigning, or installation of an anti-creep mechanism.