Aerospace Bearings Heritage Benefits Motorsports Applications


Aerospace bearing heritage from Carter Americas delivers monoball bearing and rod end performance improvements to gain a competitive advantage to win.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – December 1, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Precision bearing specialists Carter Americas attendance at the upcoming Performance Racing Industry Trade Show (December 8-10, Booth 7049, Indiana Convention Center) is the perfect opportunity to promote their proven range of motorsport bearings and tools to industry leaders. Their exclusive distribution rights for NMB’s cutting edge E-Type bearings across North and South America gives customers the chance to exploit a competitive edge across all NASCAR and IndyCar applications and other similar motorsport activities.

NMB E-Type bearings are designed to significantly improve performance on motor sport components such as control arms, tie rods and wishbone links by optimizing friction to ensure smooth rotation in all directions. The proprietary E-Type liner increases the maximum bearing operating temperature from 121ºC (249ºF) up to 180ºC (356ºF) and also offers the stiffest PTFE liner which significantly reduces deflection under load and side-to-side movement. Also, their radial load rating is increased by an impressive 35% compared to other ‘standard’ bearing designs.

The critical performance requirements of bearings used in the Motorsport industries are similar to those for Aerospace applications and this is where Carter offers customers the key benefit of extensive experience in supplying both bearings and bearing tools to Aerospace  customers around the globe. The key question often asked by customers is “How can we improve our Monoball bearing performance”? a product category which also applies to Spherical Plain Bearings and Rod End Bearings. Other questions are, “How can we increase the lifetime of our spherical plain bearings, optimise bearing torque whilst increasing quality control to ensure that bearing performance is more predictable”?

The first thing to recognize is that the bearing performance is totally dependent on the actual application, so we need to ensure the bearing selected is suitable for the conditions it will be operating in.

Therefore, the design and manufacturing quality is paramount and most bearing manufacturers will offer similar principal dimensions in order to compete, for example; inner and outer diameter and widths. However the internal geometry, tolerances, material quality, process control and the liner is where the decisions on specifying the best bearing are critical to overall performance.

For example, the spherical tolerance of the ball will determine how consistent the torque is across the entire range, while the quality of the surface finish will also influence the torque optimisation. Other key factors are, the thickness of the internal liner and its clearance with the ball and the liner material composition is an area where bearing manufacturers have significant latitude. Also, the NMB E-Type liner has a propriety design (when compared to standard NMB bearings) that increases maximum operating temperature from 249ºF up to 356ºF a much better choice for a component located close to a heat source. The E-Type bearing is plug-and-play with the NMB standard product, so simply upgrading the bearing will ensure significant improvements.

In applications such as rocker arms, bearing performance can dramatically impact the handling performance of the race car and by simply changing an ABYT-7V bearing to a ABYTE-7V bearing, will bring immediate improvements. Bearing fit within its housing is also important. For example, if it’s a ‘slip’ or ‘interference’ fit this will have a negative impact on bearing performance, so as with any machine design it’s important to make sure the stack-up tolerances allow for any rotating component to have adequate clearance to perform its function.

Bearing Tools make a Big Difference

In the motorsport industry, its common practice to use the ‘anvil stacking’ method to install a bearing with a v-groove by using a hydraulic or arbor press and applying from around 10,000 up to 50,000lbs of force to install the bearing. However, adding this much force can result in bearing torque and inspection failures. A better alternative is by using a tri-roller swaging tool with either a drill press or a manual (handheld) configuration.

This uses a rotary motion to gently and gradually swage the bearing leaving a consistent and mirror finish installation, a method approved by leading aircraft manufacturers and recognised as the industry standard for critical aerospace applications. So, if your bearing is experiencing performance issues a simple solution is to use a UNASIS cutting tool to remove the faulty bearing and replace with an NMB E-Type bearing using the UNASIS tri-roller swaging tool to ensure optimum performance.

The key objective now is how do you know your bearing installation is successful? And also, how do you ensure process control consistency? This is where the UNASIS swivel torque and proof-load tools can be used to check and confirm installation success and operational consistency by testing for both breakaway and misalignment torque. This is the torque required for both planes of motion that a suspension bearing requires for successful operation. This tool can also be used to optimise fits and tolerances of machined components to ensure the most repeatable and optimal bearing torque end results.

Additionally, the proof load test tool measures the bearing axial displacement within the housing under a defined load to ensure it is safely installed and will not become dislodged as a result of a side load. This is necessary for flight critical aerospace applications and should be a pre-requisite in motorsport applications as well. These two tests provide actionable data enabling engineers to improve performance, while the UNASIS Aerospace bearing tools used in conjunction with NMB E-Type bearings can significantly improve monoball bearing performance.   More at:

Source: Carter Americas, LLC

Carter banner #2