Differences between ball bearings and barrel bearings in shaded pole motors

NEWS    |    Feb 17, 2023

Two bearing systems are common in pneumatic products, sleeve or ball bearings.

When making a selection for your application, there are several factors that make it important to consider your options.

Sleeve bearing sleeve bearing fans are more economical in industrial fans; however, it is not recommended to install them in any position other than horizontal. Temperature is another consideration; if the temperature exceeds 70°C, the fans will not operate. Sleeve bearing fans generally have a shorter lifespan than ball bearing fans, however, similar life expectancy can be achieved if the temperatures in the application are cooler. Therefore, if the application has low heat generation or short life, a sleeve bearing fan may be considered.


Ball bearings in industrial fans Ball bearing fans can be installed in any orientation. This is because the bearings are preloaded during manufacture, which is achieved by springs or wave spring washers. Ball bearing fans have a wider operating temperature range, unlike sleeve bearing models, standard ball bearings can operate up to 70°C, and in some designs even higher. Due to this increased durability, the lifespan is increased by an average of 50%. In summary, design engineers should use ball bearing fans if the application generates high heat, has a longer lifespan, and requires the fan to be mounted in a position other than horizontal.

Noise is often a consideration, and in the past it was thought that sleeve bearing fans were quieter to run. This is suitable for very slow applications. However with improved preload, ball bearing fans can operate as quietly as sleeve bearings, especially in product applications that require faster speeds.

Lubrication is another issue, sealed-for-life ball bearings use thicker lubricants and additives that are less likely to evaporate. The lubricant in sleeve bearings has a higher concentration of oil, but they contain less oil and the system evaporates more easily.

Should I choose a ball bearing motor or a sleeve bearing motor if it is correct?

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