Cylindrical Roller Bearings

High Quality Cylindrical Roller Bearings: types and dimensions

by Kevin Sweeney
08 February, 2023
4 min read

Cylindrical roller bearings types

There are various types of Cylindrical Roller Bearings,  they all have rollers guided on one raceway ring between retaining shoulders and captured by the cage.


The outer ring can be detached. In some cases full complement (no cage) are used to increase load carrying capacity. The arrangement types have different arrangements for the shoulders or lips. Type NU has two shoulder lips on the outer ring, the inner ring then would have no lips, In Type N the inner ring has two shoulder lips and the outer ring has none. Cylindrical roller bearings of types NU and N are used as floating bearings. Type NJ has two shoulder lips on the outer ring and one on the inner ring it can take up axial forces in one direction.

Many manufacturers such as INA and SKF design these bearings with an extra capacity (E) type having the same external design but employing rollers having larger diameters and lengths. The Extra capacity type increases the load carrying capacity.

The basic raceway shape of a cylindrical roller bearing is cylindrical as well. A limited degree of misalignment tolerance can be achieved by a slightly spherical shape of one of the raceways.


Such bearings are less susceptible to shaft deflection and misalignment. The rollers of cylindrical roller bearings are ground with a spherical transition zone between the cylindrical periphery and the rounded corner or radius. The cylindrical-spherical profile prevents the occurrence of edge stresses and achieves a modified line contact with uniform stress distribution.

Double row cylindrical roller bearings are produced for machine tool spindles  due to their increased accuracy.

Double Row cylindrical roller bearings produced with a taper will have a K designation.

Double row cylindrical roller bearings SKF

Four Row cylindrical Roller bearings are ideal for use in Rolling Mills where heavy loads are present. Multirow cylindrical roller bearings are frequently specified for Back-Up and and work rolls in rolling mills. The rollers of these bearings are through bored and are guided by the pins of the cage. The pin type cage used in these bearings accommodates the highest number of rollers and therefore provides the high load ratings.

Lighter and Medium duty cylindrical roller bearings usually are manufactured with steel cages. The larger or heavier duty cylindrical roller bearings are generally manufactured using machined cages made from steel,alloys or brass and are likely guided on the rollers. In high speed applications then the cage is guided on the ground lips or shoulders of the inner or outer ring.

Because the cylindrical roller bearing is manufactured in such a way the bearing can be easily separated making it possible to mount both rings with tight fit.

Аpplications for cylindrical roller bearings

There are many applications for cylindrical roller bearings. The main applications however for cylindrical roller bearings are in power transmission applications.  A few applications they are used in are vibratory machines and rail vehicle wheel sets. As floating bearings they are commonly used in electric motors. The bearing kinematics and low friction of cylindrical roller bearings make them very suitable for high speed applications.

Cylindrical roller bearings with optimized rib contact.

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Written by

Kevin Sweeney

Founder and CEO at Pacific International Bearing Sales Inc (PIB)
Education: BS Business and Economics California State University Hayward Ca
CBS (Certified Bearing Specialist)

My role with Pacific International Bearings (PIB) is currently CEO. Since 1976, I have been deeply involved in the bearing industry, working in manufacturing sales at NTN Bearing and subsequently in Bearing Distribution. Before establishing PIB in 1990, I gathered valuable experience in bearing manufacturing and distribution. The last 45 + years in the bearing industry have been both rewarding and challenging, assisting customers across a large number of diverse bearing applications.
Outside of the bearing industry, my interests are family, woodworking, motorcycling, cars, gardening, and golf.
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