Ball Bearing Uses in Everyday Life
While ball bearings may not seem like an integral part of your daily life, they are likely quite important to most of your everyday activities. Although the term “ball bearing” tends to bring ideas like aerospace engineering and industrial equipment to mind, these bearings are used in any kind of application that needs to reduce friction on a rotating component. The most widely used types of ball bearings are used by the vast majority of the population in common devices that are heavily relied upon in daily life.
One of the most typical uses for ball bearings is within the transportation sector, as all methods of transportation (besides walking) rely on wheels or rotating components. One common use of ball bearings is in skateboard and bicycle wheels; similarly, they are also found in unicycles and tricycles, and any other application utilizing the rotation of a wheel. In automated vehicles, ball bearings are absolutely essential. The minimum number of bearings within a car is estimated at 36, while most models contain more. They are used for the gearbox, wheels, engine, transmission, AC compressor, suspension, and more. As you can imagine, they are also vital for airplane construction, and any other type of vehicle, such as motorcycles, tractors, and construction vehicles.
The average household in the United States has at least fifteen different appliances that utilize bearings, and that is a conservative estimate. Ball bearings are used in refrigerators, air conditioning units, ovens, dishwashers, generators, washing and drying machines, microwaves, blenders, ceiling fans, vacuum cleaners, food processors, and even in kitchen or bathroom drawers. If you live in a household in the U.S., it is likely that you are surrounded by bearings every day.
Beyond typical household appliances, a multitude of personal devices also contain bearings. This can include DVD players, computer fans, gaming consoles, exercise equipment, ATMs, and more. Even though you may not directly interact with bearings often, you rely on them during most regular tasks. If you use any electrical device, there is a good chance it utilizes a ball bearing. Even in more rudimentary items, such as a barstool or a yo-yo, ball bearings are used to facilitate rotational movement.
Manufacturing and Industry
While this may go a bit beyond your direct everyday life, bearings used in manufacturing processes and a variety of industries are necessary to bring you all of the products you’ve ever used. In food processing, production of plastic and paper products, and almost every imaginable consumer good, ball bearings are required in the manufacturing equipment. The agricultural industry uses a wide variety of ball bearings in all kinds of equipment, which is used to produce, package, and ship all of the food we consume. Bearings in construction equipment are used to build all of the houses and buildings we live and work in.
Even if you do not see ball bearings day to day, they are a vital part of practical life. As an average citizen in the United States, you probably use hundreds of bearings every day in your regular activities, without even noticing.