The Motion Transfer Specialists

Rod End Bearings and Spherical Bearings

World Leader in Manufacturing

Resources

Aerospace & Military Spec Products

Aurora offers standard and special spherical bearings, rod ends, and bushings for aircraft manufacturers, their subcontractors, and approved aerospace distributors. Total traceability is maintained through manufacturing up to and including shipping.

Commercial & Industrial Products

The Aurora line encompasses over 30 series of rod ends and spherical bearings, the widest selection in the industry. In addition to catalog offerings, non-standard materials substitutions and dimensional modifications are possible to meet specific customer application requirements.

CAD Drawings and Product Catalogs

Search our entire catalog of bearings and bushings to find the product spec you need for your application. View the online catalog, download the catalog PDF, or request a mailed copy to access every product attribute and technical specification.

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View Supplement Catalog

View CAD Drawings

About Us

Cost Effectiveness

Our engineers will work with you to develop practical, cost-effective solutions to all of your bearing needs.

Industry Certifications

Our quality management system has been certified to comply with ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D (with design).

Superior Quality Requirements

Extensive supplier quality requirements ensure compliance with our quality management system, regulations requirements, internal traceability and more.

Design Innovations

We have the technology to produce the highest-quality bearings in the world – and we’re constantly searching for new technologies to further advance our solutions.

Industries Served

Aerospace

From its beginning in 1971, we quickly grew a reputation for designing and producing high quality commercial rod ends and spherical bearings. Performance, expertise, quality, and service soon made us a leader in the industrial market. These attributes soon attracted leaders in the aircraft/aerospace field to Aurora for bearing application solutions. Today, companies like Boeing, Lockheed, NASA, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Airbus rely on Aurora to meet their development and production needs.

Aurora provides parts for applications such as: landing gear, horizontal & actuator systems, cargo handling, airframes, engine systems, turnbuckles, APU systems, tail rotors, main rotors and control levers.

We services unmanned aircraft, missiles, radars, kit planes, personal planes, commercial planes, personal jets, commercial jets, gyrocopters, helicopters and space exploration vehicles.

Motorsports

Our wide range of product configurations has resulted in Aurora products being a key component in race winning vehicles in all forms of motorsports. Stock car racers, both on dirt and pavement, sprint cars, drag cars, open wheel cars, both on speedways and road courses, endurance road racers, off road racers and rally cars are just a small selection of the styles of automobile racing where Aurora products deliver race winning performance. Beyond automobiles, motorcycles and sidecars, snowmobiles, boats, and aircraft racers win with Aurora. Whatever you race, if it uses rod ends or spherical bearings, you can count on Aurora.

Transportation

On applications from throttle controls to door actuators, transportation industry OEM’s rely on the strength, precision, and durability of Aurora products to deliver long term value to their customers. In addition, Aurora provides custom engineered products for applications such as sway bar linkages on inner city and over the road busses, suspension linkages for high speed rail cars, and bearings for motorcycle suspension systems.

Packaging

Aurora has developed key components for dairy machinery, high speed sorters and inserters, baggers and carton erectors. Our range of styles and configurations of bearings service a wide variety of applications with catalog items, while our engineering expertise can help solve the most difficult applications.

Military

Companies like Boeing, Lockheed, NASA, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman which need certified parts come to us for performance, quality, and service they expect. Aurora meets both their rigorous technical requirements and their demanding production schedules to supply parts for unmanned aircraft, missiles, radars, jets, helicopters and space exploration vehicles.

Marine

The wide range of materials and configurations of Aurora rod end and spherical bearings include many products for marine use. Especially suitable are the many series of stainless steel rod ends and spherical bearings. These offer corrosion production beyond the protective coatings applied to other Aurora products. Aurora stainless steel bearings feature bodies, balls, and races all produced from heat treated materials, offering the ultimate in corrosion resistance, strength, and durability.

Attractions

Aurora’s wide range of products serves a variety of attraction industry requirements. Standard products are used on production rides and attractions, while specialty designed products are used in large scale attractions, motion based simulators, animatronics figures, as well as some of the most elaborate and sophisticated rides.

Student Design Competition Participants

For two decades, we have been an enthusiastic supporter of teams involved in Formula SAE, Mini Baja, Formula Student, and many other similar competitions world wide. We offer an aggressive discount to teams. Address inquiries to customerservice@aurorabearing.com to learn more. Please include the name of your school or institution in your inquiry, and the competition in which you are participating.

Technical Resources

Technical Terms & Definitions

Rod Ends Spherical Bearing Articles

Technical Data

Custom Engineered Products

Rod Industry Key Terms

Technical FAQs

Terms and Conditions of Sale

Technical Terms & Definitions

Radial Static Load Capacity: The amount of load a bearing can support, in tension, or pull, before it breaks. If a part has a RSLC of 5,000 pounds, loading to this value could cause permanent damage. Operating loads should include a factor of safety, generally 4 to 1, but in any event should not be near the RSLC. Noting the capacity is a good comparator when making interchanges or up grading. See page 4 of catalog, or page 2 of “The ABC’S OF SPHERICAL ROD ENDS” for more information regarding loads.

Axial Static Load Capacity: The amount of load a bearing can support in the axial direction, through the ball bore, before permanent damage can occur. See page 4 of the Aurora Bearing Catalog for recommended Axial Static Load Capacities. Operating loads should include a factor of safety, generally 4 to 1, but in any event should not be near the ASLC.

Male Rod End: Externally threaded rod end.

Female Rod End: Internally threaded rod end.

Spherical Bearing: Consists of a raceway around a ball. To function, is placed in a housing, as it has no threaded portion to affix it to a component. Also sometimes called a mono-ball.

Metal on metal bearing: The wear surfaces of both the ball and race on a standard rod end or spherical bearing are a “metal” surface rubbing “on” a “metal” surface. A metal on metal bearing requires some sort of lubrication if regularly misaligned.

Ball: The spherical inner portion of the bearing, with a through hole for attachment. Also sometimes referred to as an “inner ring”.

Eared Ball: A ball with integral spacers on each side of the ball intended for high misalignment.

Race: The portion of the bearing that the ball rotates within. It can be machined into the body on a 2-piece rod end or be one solid ring on a 3-piece part. On a spherical bearing, the race is sometimes referred to as an “outer ring”

Teflon Liner: Teflon is a trademark held by Dupont for their material chemically known as PTFE. A teflon liner is a strip of PTFE/fabric composite bonded to the raceway of the part. It provides a self-lubricating surface for the ball to ride on. It should not be confused with virgin PTFE, which has very low compressive strength. A proper liner relies on the fabric component for load bearing capacity, and the PTFE component for lubricity.

“Zerk” fitting: Connection allowing passage of grease into bearing for lubrication. Sometimes known as a grease nipple, greaser, or zert fitting.

“Flush” fitting: Connection allowing passage of grease into bearing for lubrication. Unlike “zerk” fitting, fitting protrudes a minimal amount from surface, and requires a needle mating fitting to introduce lubricant.

Lubrication: A metal on metal bearing, when regularly misaligned or oscillated in operation, will require lubrication. A lightly loaded bearing may be run with minimal lubrication, relying on a boundary, or very thin, lubricant film. More heavily loaded, or frequently misaligned bearings require a film of lubricant between the ball and race, to prevent galling, or micro welding of the two surfaces. A sign of insufficient lubrication on a used metal on metal bearing is noticeable discoloration of the ball, either to black or brown, on the wear surfaces.
Imperial Thread: Also known as “inch thread”. Inch threads are identified by the nominal diameter size followed by the number of threads per inch. “5/16-24” indicates 5/16 inch outside diameter and 24 threads per inch.

Metric Thread: Metric screw threads are identified by the letter (M) for the thread form profile, followed by the nominal diameter size and the pitch expressed in millimeters, separated by the sign (x) and followed by the tolerance class separated by a dash (-) from the pitch. (ex.: M10 x 1.5-6g)

Bore: The diameter of the hole through the ball of a spherical bearing or rod end.

Shank: The threaded portion of a rod end. Will be either male, external thread, or female, internal thread.

Base to Center: The dimension that specifies the distance from the bottom of the shank to the center of the ball bore. This is the most common measurement in the bearing industry when the length/height of a rod end is expressed.

Staking Groove: Also known as the Grumman groove. A groove that is machined into a bearing or housing and is used to retain the spherical bearing in the housing.

Magnetic Particle Inspection: A method used to detect cracks, laps, seams, inclusions, and other discontinuities on or near the surface of the bearings.

Radial Clearance: In an unmounted bearing radial clearance is the amount of internal movement that the ball can travel along the axis perpendicular to the ball bore.

Axial Clearance: In an unmounted bearing axial clearance is the amount of internal movement that a ball can travel along the axis of the ball bore.

Swage: The cold forming of a race or body around a ball.

Stake: The retention of a ball or insert (bearing) in a housing.

Misalignment: The degree of angular movement that a ball can accommodate without interference.

Rod Ends Spherical Bearing Articles

Reprints of articles that have appeared in various publications that will provide a deeper insight into rod ends and spherical bearings. In addition, you can find information regarding Aurora Bearing Company and our products.

ABCs of Spherical Rod Ends

ABCs of Spherical Rod Ends - Spanish

Broken Rod End at BRIC

In Rod We Trust

Spotlight on Aurora Bearing

Rod Ends - What You Need to Know

Critical Components

Rod Ends

Rod End In"CRITICAL COMPONENTS"spection

On A Roll

Rod Ends Bearings & Racecars Flyer

Technical Data

Technical Data

Technical information regarding installation, use, and maintenance of rod ends and spherical bearings.

Fractured Race Bearings Interchange Guide

Spherical bearings also referred to as split race or light series.

General aviation bearings interchange guide

Bearings commonly, but not exclusively, used in the general aviation field.

Race Car Special Parts

Rod ends and spherical bearings used primarily in the race car field that do not appear in Aurora Bearing commercial catalog.

Metric race car PTFE lined spherical bearings

Parts commonly, but not exclusively, used in the race car industry that do not appear in Aurora Bearing commercial catalog.

Custom Engineered Products

Beyond the diverse line of catalog items offered by Aurora Bearing Company, Aurora produces a multitude of products for specific customers with designs and configurations to meet unique requirements. We specialize in providing practical and sound solutions to rod end and spherical bearing application problems and challenges.

Rod Industry Key Terms

A guide to help translate common rod end industry terms from English to a variety of languages.

Key Term Translation

Technical FAQs

What direction is an axial load applied?
The load is applied through the axis of the ball bore.

What is the axial static load capacity of Aurora Bearing Company’s rod ends?
For Aurora two-piece rod ends, the maximum axial static load capacity is recommended to be 15% of the ultimate radial static load capacity. For three-piece rod ends, the maximum axial static load capacity is recommended to be 10% of the ultimate radial static load capacity. However, on three-piece units, factors such as race material, body material, and dimensions may affect the axial static load capacity. For further information, consult the Aurora Bearing engineering department.

What is the axial static load capacity of Aurora Bearing Company’s spherical bearings?
The maximum axial static load capacity on Aurora spherical bearings is recommended at 20% of the radial static load. Extreme care should be used on selecting a sufficiently strong housing to accept this type of bearing.

What direction is a radial load applied?
The load is applied through the axis of the shank of the male or female body.

Is there a safety factor included in the ultimate radial static load capacity?
You should assume that there is no safety factor. The bearing will fail at the listed load.

What is axial play (endplay)?
The measurement of the total range of movement of the ball inside the insert/body in the axial direction or the clearance measured along the axis of the ball bore.

What is radial play?
The measurement of the total range of movement of the ball inside the insert/body in the radial direction or the clearance measured along the axis of the shank of the male or female body.

What maintenance do I need to perform on my rod ends and spherical bearings to keep them operating properly?
For metal-to-metal rod ends and spherical bearings, a thin layer of grease applied occasionally to ball outside diameter will assist in extending the life of these products. Rod ends and spherical bearings that are PTFE lined are self-lubricating and are designed to be maintenance free and should not be lubricated.

What is the minimum thread engagement required to support the listed load ratings in the Aurora Bearing Company catalog?
The minimum thread engagement is 1.5 times the major thread diameter unless otherwise stated.

What is the thickness of the PTFE liner?
The thickness of Aurora Bearing Company’s “AT” series PTFE liner is between .012”-.016” thick depending on which liner is chosen.

What is the maximum rpm that a rod end or spherical bearing can operate at?
When a rod end or spherical bearing is to be applied in full rotation, the surface speed of the ball should be kept below 20 feet per minute or the rotational speed should be below 100 RPM, whichever is lower, with the operating loads not to exceed 10% of the ultimate radial static load capacity.

What is the operating temperature of Aurora Bearing Company’s PTFE lined bearings?
Commercial grade liner = -65°F to +250°F
Military specification liner = -65°F to +325°F

How much corrosion resistance does Aurora Bearing Company’s zinc plated rod ends provide?
All zinc plated rod ends are plated to meet or exceed the requirements of ASTM B 633.

Does Aurora Bearing Company offer 2D and 3D drawings of their bearings?
Yes, they can be found under the “CAD Drawings” heading on the web site. Click here to view our CAD Drawings.

Does Aurora Bearing Company offer custom or made to order bearings?
Yes, Aurora Bearing has the ability to manufacture many types of specialty bearings not listed in the catalog.

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