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Helle Kinning

How do I choose the correct ball bearing slide for my application?

Author: Helle Kinning, Marketing and distribution support specialist

14th Apr 2014

This is a difficult one to answer since there are so many different slides on the market and even more applications where slides can be used.

Have a look at our market sector and case study pages – you may find a similar application to yours.

Here are ten tips from our engineering group:

1. Is a ball bearing slide the best option? If you have a restricted budget or just need a simple movement carrying very little weight, then don’t forget to look into roller slides or simple friction systems

2. Slides are categorised by load rating so think carefully about the weight that you expect the slide to carry. Remember to add the weight of all the elements to be moved, including the construction materials, into your calculations. This will give you a good starting point to understand the size of slide you need.

3. How far do you need the item to move? This will give you the slide travel or extension. This is the difference in length between a closed and fully opened slide. Slides come in various extensions - part extension, full extension, over travel, linear.

4. How much space do you have to accommodate the slide? Each type of slide has its own side space requirement, but you need to also take into account the profile height of the slide.

5. How far apart will the slides be positioned and will they be side or flat mounted? Slides are typically tested for their catalogue load ratings at 450mm apart and some slides cannot be flat mounted. Those slides that can be flat mounted will have a reduced load rating.

6. What finish do you need? Zinc plated steel is standard, but we also do black, white, stainless steel, aluminium and corrosion resistant coatings.

7. Think about mounting options. How do you want to fix the slide into the application? The majority of slides have screw fixing hole patterns, but there are also slides with bayonet mounting options for fixing into steel cabinets. Or use our ladder strip mounting to allow bayonet slides to be mounted into wooden cabinets.

8. Does the application need a particular function? This will make you think about the additional features that you may need in or around the slide. There are a number of common options such as, detent hold in, disconnect, self close, easy close, lock in, lock out, etc.

9. You can use our slide selector tool on the website to configure a product. You can also save slides to your own Product library to compare features.

10. Can’t see the slide you need? Then ask for help. We are happy to receive your application photos or drawings and give advice. Email your question to [email protected]
You may also want to read our page called ‘How to select a ball bearing drawer slide’.

Read more technical articles on the Accuride blog:

'I want to replace the cabinet slides in my wooden drawer'

'I need to fit a drawer slide, but don’t know how much space to allow between the cabinet and drawer '

'Potential problems of using slides on wide and deep drawers, and ball migration / inching issues'

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