CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart


  • Christian BrecherEmail author
Reference work entry



A bearing facilitates the low-friction relative motion between two machine elements while simultaneously transmitting the forces between them as well as guiding and positioning them relative to each other.

Theory and Application


Bearings allow relative rotational and translational motion between two machine parts. Apart from transmitting radial and axial forces (in rotary bearings) and forces and moments transverse to the direction of motion (in linear bearings), they define the relative positions of the machine elements supported by the bearings.

Bearings are core components of all production machines and are often of great importance for the performance of these machines. In a machine tool, for example, different types of bearings are used for different...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Werkzeugmaschinenlabor der RWTH AachenAachenGermany