There are various types of bearings, each with its own advantages. Do you know what kind of bearings are used in what kind of machines? In this section we will introduce the bearings used in automobiles.
1. How are bearings used in automobiles?
Bearings are becoming increasingly important in order to improve the performance of automobiles, for example by reducing CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions that contribute to global warming or by reducing the number of breakdowns. We introduced the idea that in most cars with conventional engines, there are typically about 100-150 bearings at work.
What is a bearing? Come along and learn about the basic functions of bearings! In this part we will explain how bearings are used to transfer power from the engine to the wheels of the transmission and differential.
2. Bearings used in transmission
Sometimes we want to drive faster, or we need a lot of drive, for example when going uphill. It is necessary to get the driving force suitable for the driving environment. The transmission is the device that converts the power from the engine into driving force and transmits it to the wheels. Inside, many different types of bearings work in tandem, each exerting its own power, and a large number of bearings are in use inside the various components of the car.
Transmissions can be divided into two main categories: manual and automatic. In cars equipped with a manual transmission, the shifter used to operate it is mounted next to the driver's seat. The driver operates the shifter manually in order to convert the power from the engine into a force suitable for the driver's driving situation.
A manual transmission consists of a shaft and gears. These components are supported by bearings, which we will now describe. Use the type of bearing that matches the amount of engine power, which supports the rotation of the shaft and the forces exerted by the gears.
In order to transfer the proper drive to the wheels at the speed we want to travel, we use the gearshift to select the gear (A) that best fits that drive. The selected gear (A) is connected to the shaft and causes the shaft to rotate the same number of times.
To transfer a different drive to the wheels in case of a change, we use the gearshift to disconnect the connected gear (A) from the shaft and select the gear (B) best suited for that drive. The selected gear (B) is connected to the shaft and rotates the shaft at the same number of revolutions.
In this case, the gear that is separate from the shaft (A) rotates independently of the shaft. Just as the gear and the shaft rotate at different numbers of revolutions, the needle roller bearing (combination of needle roller and cage) is mounted between the gear and the shaft and rotates the shaft between the inner and outer surfaces of the gear.
3. Bearing for differential speed
When a car turns to the left or right, the inside wheel turns slower than the outside wheel. A differential is a device that converts the driving force of the transmission into a greater driving force and allows the left and right wheels to turn at different numbers.
At the differential, the gears attached to the pinion shaft (the shaft connected to the transmission) and the wheel end shafts interlock at right angles. The differential bearings support the rotation of the shaft and the forces exerted by the gears.
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