Linear bearings include mechanical components that allows relative motion between two surfaces — with one surface supporting the other and minimum friction between the two. The two basic types of linear guides include plain (sliding motion) and rolling element … with the same general function but vastly different design and performance characteristics.
In this Design Guide, the editors of Design World explain basic linear-bearing terminology and detail the most common linear-bearing types …. as well general ways to quantify the performance and capabilities of linear bearings for sizing, selection, and installation. Special emphasis is placed on plain linear bearings. Deep dives on crossed-roller slides, accuracy and preload, rolling-element linear bushings, and ball splines are included in other Design Guide installments.