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History of ball bearingsThe familiar precision rolling-element bearings of the twentieth century are products of exacting technology and sophisticated science. Their very effectiveness and basic simplicity of form may discourage further interest in their history and development. Yet the full story covers a large portion of recorded history and surprising evidence of an early recognition of the advantages of rolling motion over sliding action and progress toward the development of rolling-element bearings. The development of rolling-element bearings is followed from the earliest civilizations to the end of the eighteenth century. The influence of general technological developments, particularly those concerned with the movement of large building blocks, road transportation, instruments, water-raising equipment, and windmills are discussed, together with the emergence of studies of the nature of rolling friction and the impact of economic factors. By 1800 the essential features of ball and rolling-element bearings had emerged and it only remained for precision manufacture and mass production to confirm the value of these fascinating machine elements.
Document ID
19810009866
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
Dowson, D. (Leeds Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hamrock, B. J. (NASA Lewis Research Center)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1981
Subject Category
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Report/Patent Number
NASA-TM-81689
E-209
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-32-42
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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