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The Bearing 411

A selection of cam followers bearings from JNS.

The Different Features of Cam Followers

Quality cam followers can help your operations keep on rolling. Of course, different applications call for different needs. As such, there are many ways that you can customize cam follower bearings to suit your specific needs. This includes figuring out the best options for these cam follower features.

Outer Ring Styles

These are two main styles when it comes to the outer rings for cam followers: flat or crowned. Flat outer rings, also called cylindrical outer rings, are exactly as they sound – flat across the width of the OD. Crowned outer rings are beveled on the outer ring/head itself.

Dimensionally, both styles are pretty much the same, but the decision to choose cylindrical or crowned outer rings come down to track load capacity you want to place on that bearing. Cylindrical outer rings allow you to spread that load across the whole ring as opposed to a specific point, which allows cylindrical outer rings to handle a much higher total load. However, there may be situation where you may want less surface area across what the cam follower is guiding. Crowned outer rings allows cam followers to make as little contact as possible as they still do their job.

Mounting and Relubrication Options

Different cam followers feature various sockets or grooves to allow for easy mounting. These can include hexagon sockets or screwdriver grooves on the stud heads. Some versions only feature sockets or grooves on one side of the cam followers, although JNS bearings is phasing single hex socket parts out in favor of the CF-AB, a cam follower with sockets on both ends.

Another change is cam followers with integrated concave grease nipples at both ends. These nipples allow for relubrication of those bearings without having the nipple stick outwards. This design allows for easy use that still allows for lubrication access on both sides. The concave design also ensures that cam followers can be mounted in tight spots where the external nipple would pose problems.

Caged or Uncaged

Another option that can depend on your needs or preferences is whether you want a cage for your cam followers. Cages hold the balls or needles in the can followers in place, which prevents them from being misaligned or rubbing against each other to prevent premature failure. Cages allow for higher speeds as well. However, no cage allows there to be more balls or needles, which helps allow for higher loads.

Bearing Materials

Like other bearing products, cam followers can be made in different materials. Cam followers can be found in both standard chrome and stainless steel varieties. Stainless steel cam followers offer a variety of advantages over standard parts, such as greater resistances to corrosion, chemicals, heat, and other potential issues. However, stainless steel is a softer material, which can be problematic for applications that require a higher load carrying capacity.

Find the Right Cam Followers for Your Applications

Whether you know exactly which cam follower you want or need some assistance from an expert, Ritbearing can help. We can help you narrow down your search so that you get the perfect cam follower bearings for your application and budget. Contact us today to order the parts you need or talk to one of our experts about your specific cam follower needs.