The paper deals with the unique functional characteristics that the use of hollow rolling elements induce in a radial type cylindrical roller bearing. The ability to consistently and successfully preload these hollow rollers between the inner and the outer races together with, of course, the necessary but usual degree of precision of the bearing components, provides an effective control of the shaft run-out. This makes the bearing especially suitable for high precision applications. The roller preloading also eliminates the need for a roller guidance from a retainer which, combined with the lighter rollers, generally means higher speed capabilities. In addition to the inherent superior rotational accuracy of the hollow roller bearing, it is also demonstrated as to why, contrary to the common belief, the preloading ability of the hollow rollers results in significant stiffness improvements over, say, a corresponding solid roller bearing. The significance of the roller hollowness is discussed with regard to the stiffness, load capacity and life characteristics of this bearing. Finally, the suitability of the various lubrication systems for this bearing are discussed.

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