A ball bearing is a type of rolling element that uses balls to separate the moving aspects of the bearing. The balls are often made out of steel or ceramic and they are to provide frictionless movement between your various areas of the bearing. The usage of roller bearings return to Roman times where they found them on Roman ships that had been built in 40 A.D.
It was Leonardo da Vinci who first discovered the thought along with the mechanics of making use of balls in the bearing but it really was just until 1791 where Phillip Vaughn, an English carriage maker, patented the 1st axle to utilize the ball bearing.
Ball bearings are definitely more widely used in machinery and in appliances. There are many interesting and different purposes of ball bearings for instance Earthquake Proof Buildings. The San Francisco Airport Terminal uses tapered roller bearings to help it withstand the consequences of an earth quake. Throughout the airport there are over 200 columns, with each column is positioned over a ball bearing using a diameter of 5 feet so when it comes to an earthquake it separates the floor from the building. Once the sppherical is finished the columns are centered on the balls through the force of gravity.
There are numerous types of ball bearings including Magnetic Bearings, which are found in high-speed devices. These devices can go as fast as 50,000 revolutions a minute, a normal bearing would melt or explode at this particular speed although the magnetic bearing can handle this. Another may be the ball bearings which are widely used to move very large and extremely heavy objects. The Egyptians first used this concept when building the pyramids and is still used today.