Caged balls in linear bearings deliver high-speed, longer life

April 20, 2000
Grease circulates with the aid of a ball cage.

Grease circulates with the aid of a ball cage. The ball-circulating sections are made of resin molded in the block.


The four-way equal load rating LM (linear motion) Guide uses a caged-ball technology for low noise, longer term maintenance-free operation at high speed.


The SHS LM guide bearings feature caged-ball technology. The cage reduces ball-to-ball friction and heat for high-speed performance and increased product life. The technology drops torque values to one-tenth of conventional full-compliment bearings. Without ball-to-ball contact, the bearings run quieter and have pockets for lubricant retention, which reduces maintenance.

A retainer in the bearing separates and aligns recirculating balls for a smoother and more consistent gliding motion. Balls roll through four rows of precision-ground raceways formed between the LM rail and block. The end plates at both ends of the block let the balls circulate through rolling tracks.

The linear bearings can be used in a wide range of applications, and are particularly suitable for machine tools. Each row of balls is arranged at a 45° contact angle for a four-way equal load rating in radial, reverse, and both lateral directions. The linear bearings provide high rigidity, good durability, and a self-adjusting capacity for uneven surfaces. Given an uneven load, the balls will not produce a differential slip. The result: good wear resistance and accuracy.

This information provided by THK America Inc., Shaumburg, Ill.

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