What Is A Roller Follower?

The Kia Optima is known for its smooth handling at high speeds. This is due to a unique system called the roller follower. These devices reduce friction in your car by around 30%.

And while you might not know it, you interact with these small pieces every time you drive your car or use a crank.

They provide a smooth, reliable interface between parts that need to rotate without friction. If you’re designing a machine that needs a bearing system, a roller follower is just what you need.

Read on to learn all about these little pieces of engineering and how they work.

What Is a Roller Follower?

A roller follower is a specific type of bearing designed to provide low friction in cam-type systems.

The roller follower provides a lower coefficient of friction than other types of bearings. Because of this, it can adapt to changing conditions with minimal wear from shock loads.

Roller followers are also self-aligning. That means you can mount them horizontally or vertically without affecting performance.

It’s used in place of its cousin, the cam follower. Roller followers are mounted directly onto an existing shaft, but cam followers have a built-in shaft.

How Do Roller Followers Work?

Roller followers use two rollers that roll against each other as they move back and forth within the outer race. The rollers provide support for the load while allowing free movement in one direction (usually axial).

The outer race on a roller follower is typically shaped like a cam. It may also have a needle or cylindrical profile, depending on use. Because of its shape, you can position the outer race so that only one side contacts the shaft and allows for axial motion.

Where Are Roller Followers Used?

You can use roller bearings in any system with rotational motion, especially where the rotation of one part is used to create movement in another part. This includes machinery and equipment like:

  • Conveyor belts
  • Cranes
  • Lifts
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Fans
  • Pumps

Roller followers also have many other applications, including automotive gearboxes and agricultural equipment. Their use is virtually limitless as long as axial movement is needed.

What Are the Advantages of Roller Followers?

Because they don’t require lubrication to operate, roller followers are ideal for environments where there is no oil supply. They’re also the ideal part in machines where it would be impractical to add additional lubricants.

Learn the Ins and Outs of Automotive Engineering

Roller follower bearings are highly durable, and they offer excellent corrosion resistance. It’s easy to add these parts to your next automotive build to increase the longevity of your machine. They’re also easy to install, so you can add them to your car in just a few minutes.

While roller followers are essential to the smooth running of your vehicle, they’re just one piece of a larger puzzle. Read a few articles in our automotive section to learn more about the parts that make your car run.

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