THRUST BALL BEARINGS
Thrust Ball Bearings are divided into two basic groups, single direction and double direction. Single direction thrust ball bearings have one row of balls within a cage, running between two grooved washers. The washers have flat seating surfaces that must be completely supported so that all of the balls can be evenly loaded. This bearing design is solely for carrying axial loads in one direction.
Double direction thrust ball bearings are used for reversing axial loads. There are two grooved housing washers, two ball and retainer assemblies, and an intermediate face. The housing washer and ball and retainer assemblies are the same as those of the corresponding single direction thrust ball bearing. Double direction thrust ball bearings can withstand axial loads in both directions.
Thrust ball bearings are used in applications where axial loads are too high to be supported by radial bearings or when rigid axial guidance is required.