Plain bearing vs. roller bearing: How plain bearings are successfully replacing roller bearings

In many applications, the question plain bearing vs. roller bearing goes in favor of plain bearings, due to their increase in performance. Our expertise, as one of the world's leading manufacturers of hydrodynamic plain bearings, enables us to use Miba plain bearing technology to your advantage, including in wind power and aviation.


Plain bearings vs. Roller bearings

Due to the increase in performance, plain bearings have already replaced rolling bearings in a wide range of applications. Our expertise as one of the world's leading manufacturers of hydrodynamic plain bearings enables us to develop customized solutions for your specific requirements.

Interested in more information about plain bearings vs. roller bearings?

Johannes Reisenberger
Technology Unit Leader Future Products

We would be pleased to provide you with more information about your options.

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Plain bearings as a key element in gearboxes for wind turbines

Since 2008, we have been working on bearing solutions for main gearboxes on wind turbines that are already in series production. During a detailed design process, we develop customer-specific and application-driven plain bearing solutions. Power density can be increased even further in future by integrating the bearing functionality into the component using a direct coating. The question of plain bearing vs. roller bearing does not arise here.


Why plain bearings are replacing roller bearings in wind turbines:

Compared to rolling bearing solutions, plain bearings are convincing due to

  • Higher power density
  • Longer service life due to hydrodynamic operation
  • Higher load capacity
  • Higher impact resistance
  • Easier installation
  • More compact design
  • Lower overall costs
  • Reduction of installation space
  • Weight reduction
  • Noise reduction


Are you interested in your benefits with plain bearing vs. roller bearing technology?

Marcus Bohlmann
Sales Manager Wind

We would be pleased to provide you with more information about your options.

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Setting new standards in aviation with plain bearings

The advantages of plain bearings (in contrast to roller element bearings) in aviation

  • Higher load capacity
  • Higher speeds
  • More resistant to abrasion, corrosion, cavitation and fatigue
  • Tribological properties — emergency running capability 
  • Reduced noise (-20 dB)
  • Increased efficiency
  • 15% lower fuel consumption
  • 15% lower CO2/NOx emissions

Would you like to switch from roller bearing to plain bearing technology?

Martin Laher
Key Account Manager Aerospace

We are with you right from the start.

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Plain bearing technology in use under the toughest conditions in agriculture

Our plain bearings are particularly suitable for the harsh conditions in agriculture. With their exceptional resistance to friction, wear and corrosion, our solutions offer a longer service life and lower maintenance requirements. Combined with a more compact design and weight reduction, significant fuel savings and a higher payload can be achieved. You can rely on our plain bearings to deliver consistent performance even under the toughest operating conditions, ensuring optimum functionality and productivity of agricultural machinery.

Advantages of plain bearings over rolling bearings when used in agricultural machinery:

  • Maximization of overall efficiency
  • Long service life due to hydrodynamic operation
  • No unplanned downtime
  • Reduced maintenance time and costs
  • Insensitive to dirt 
  • High wear resistance
  • High load capacity
  • Lower overall costs
  • Lower weight

Highest performance and reliability in industrial applications

For us, every industrial application is unique and brings with it specific requirements and challenges. Our engineering teams therefore work closely with our customers to develop customized industrial solutions. Our bearings are designed for high performance and provide the reliability you need to minimize downtime and optimize productivity. 


The advantages of plain bearings in industrial applications:

  • High wear resistance
  • High shock load capacity
  • Long service life due to hydrodynamic operation
  • Reduction of installation space
  • Low maintenance costs 
  • Lead-free surface solutions
  • Noise reduction
  • Maximization of overall efficiency

Merging material and design competence: Miba technology is unique on the market

As the Bearing Division, we combine the competencies of engine plain bearing technology and industrial plain bearing technology. For engines, we deliver an impressive range of materials expertise for a high load range at moderate speeds. For turbines and compressors, we deliver plain bearing technology as opposed to roller bearings based on broad design expertise for very high circumferential speeds. Our interdisciplinary technical and application knowledge enables us to offer bearing solutions for a variety of applications with a wide range of specifications. So plain bearings will be able to replace roller bearings in other industries as well over the long term.

Why Miba is the ideal partner for switching from rolling bearings to plain bearings

The Miba Bearing Group is your partner for switching from rolling bearings to plain bearings. Together with our customers, we meet the challenges of making products more economical, environmentally friendly and efficient.

Frequently asked questions about switching from roller element bearings to plain bearings

  • Unlimited service life in hydrodynamic operation - lower overall costs
  • Easier installation - simple process 
  • Longer service life due to hydrodynamic operation
  • More compact design - reduction in installation space and weight
  • No moving parts - excellent noise and vibration damping
  • Less sensitive to dust - for harsh environments
  • Less maintenance - lower costs over the service life
  • Easier scalability 
  • Increased load capacity
  • Higher sliding speeds
  • Higher power densities
  • Higher impact resistance

Our team of experts will help you find the perfect solution for switching from rolling bearings to plain bearings. Together, we will find the right solution for your application and provide technical support every step of the way. 

Our bearings feature a sturdy steel back, providing strength and support for various applications. The steel back ensures structural integrity and enhances overall durability, enabling the bearing to withstand heavy loads and challenging operating conditions. We offer a diverse selection of high-quality bearing materials, special alloys, to meet specific performance requirements. These alloys are meticulously engineered to provide excellent wear resistance, low friction, and optimal load distribution, resulting in reliable and efficient operation.

We are committed to sustainability and offer innovative solutions for your specific requirements. With our lead-free options, you can improve your environmental credentials while maintaining the highest standards of performance and reliability.

Tribology is the science of wear, friction and lubrication and studies the behavior of interacting surfaces in motion. Tribology is a collaborative, multidisciplinary field involving experts in mechanical engineering, manufacturing, materials science, chemistry, physics and more. It is critical to the optimization of bearing design and lubrication in both natural and man-made systems.  Friction is the resistance to movement between bodies in contact with each other. The resulting frictional force can be quantified by the coefficient of friction, which is the ratio between the applied load and the friction. During wear, the irreversible loss of material between interacting surfaces, various physical and chemical mechanisms are at work in the contact area. Friction and wear mechanisms depend on the structure of the tribological system and the induced collective load, which makes quantification and control difficult. To understand tribological theories, the microscopic level of sliding friction and the topography of the surfaces must be taken into account. 

The counterparts of bearings in a tribological system are important components of the whole bearing system. Their properties directly influence friction, wear, and overall performance. That's why it's crucial to carefully consider the following essential properties – material and precise geometrical properties. We are committed to providing tribologically optimized solutions that maximize efficiency, extend service life, and elevate the performance of the whole bearing systems. We are happy to discuss how your system can be optimized.

Um die Leistung, den Gesamtwirkungsgrad und die Lebensdauer von Lagern weiter zu verbessern, gibt es verschiedene Beschichtungsoptionen. Diese speziellen Oberflächenbehandlungen bieten Vorteile wie erhöhte Korrosionsbeständigkeit, verbesserte Schmierung, geringere Reibung und verbesserte Verschleißfestigkeit. 

To further improve the performance, overall efficiency and service life of bearings, there are various coating options available. These special surface treatments offer benefits such as increased corrosion resistance, improved lubrication, reduced friction and improved wear resistance. 

Ask our experts about your options with Miba plain bearing technology.