The first bearings were discovered in the parking lots of primitive humans. The bearings of the Neolithic era were stone tools and, according to archaeologists, were used in spinning spindles and drilling devices. However, the innovative technology of the Stone Age did not see rapid progress.
It was only hundreds of years later (330 BC) in Ancient Greece that the engineer-inventor Diades created a prototype bearing, which became part of the construction of a siege engine. The ram for destroying fortresses moved along grooves with rollers.
And ball bearings appeared during the reign of Caligula. The Roman emperor wanted to emphasize his unlimited power and ordered the construction of two enormous ships. One of them was intended to be a temple dedicated to Caligula's patron goddess Diana, and the other was planned to be used as a floating palace. After work on this project, amazing rotating platforms were discovered, in the mechanisms of which bearings were used. Under one of the platforms, eight bronze balls were found, moving in a groove.
As for the first plain bearings, it is believed that they came into common use at the same time as chariots, potter's wheels, and mills. In other words, sliding bearings for transportation entered common use as one of the first inventions.
At the same time, the first lubricants were created to facilitate sliding. For example, in the Aswan Valley of the Nile, where the ancient Egyptians delivered granite and other stone blocks for construction, they invented using wet clay for lubrication, then coconut oil. But all these lubricants had a significant drawback - they were too viscous and dried out quickly. The next stage was animal fats, and then products based on oil, which naturally seeps to the surface in certain areas. In Russia, the problem of lubrication was solved with the help of tar.
In the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci drew a sketch of an ideal bearing bush, the originality of which consisted in replacing sliding friction with significantly lower rolling friction. Thus, the scientist became the creator of the rolling bearing, starting to use these designs in his inventions.
The first metal rolling bearing was installed in England in 1780, in the support of a windmill, and consisted of two cast iron rolling tracks with 40 cast iron balls placed between them.
In the same period, the first prototypes of bearings appeared in Russia. For the transportation of a huge stone for the foundation of the "Bronze Horseman" monument in St. Petersburg, giant sledges were constructed, with logs covered with sheet copper serving as runners. Recesses for bronze balls were carved into them, which helped facilitate movement.
However, the problem of precision in ball production remained. This task was solved by Friedrich Fischer. In 1883, he created a fully automated milling machine, thanks to which the balls acquired a perfect round shape. But ball bearings were not suitable for all engineering solutions. So in 1907, the young Swedish engineer Sven Wingquist created the sketch of the world's first self-aligning bearing.
Modern computer programs allow entering any parameters for virtual bearings and bearing assemblies, both external and internal. This method was used to design a micro-bearing for microelectronics, used in hard drives.
Today, bearings have numerous applications and classifications, including a range of bearings and hubs from the B-Ring brand for passenger cars. You can always choose bearings, hubs, and CV joints from our brand with the level of warranty and calculated service life that you specifically need.