The Importance of Bearings for Mechanical Power Transmission

Blog | January 23rd, 2018

When you hop into your car or truck and hit the gas, your car moves. Thanks to years and years of technological and mechanical innovation, we are at a point where we simply just accept this miraculous moment. However, behind the smoothness of your ride we can see a lot of hard work being done. That brings us to a discussion regarding mechanical power transmission and the importance of bearings in the entirety of the process. Today, we are going to break down the impact that bearings have on the mechanical power transmission process and how it makes your life easier as a result.

Mechanical Power Transmission & Bearings

When discussing the importance of bearings in relation to mechanical power transmission, we must first step back and understand what each aspect of the system entails. Mechanical power transmission, for those not in the know, is essentially just a powered system that generates its energy by way of mechanical movement, rather than electrical current. You’ll see mechanical power transmissions being the driving force, quite literally, behind a number of different devices across all sorts of industries. Now that you know, more or less, what a mechanical power transmission system is we can move on to bearings and how they are important in facilitating this task.

Bearings, speaking generally of course, are simple devices that allow a mechanism to rotate or move repeatedly in a linear fashion. Think of the hand of a watch spinning or the forward-backward-forward thrust of a mechanical system. In order for these mechanical movements to be safely executed, while enduring extensive pressure over a prolonged period of time, bearings are put in place. Bearings are physically composed of a ball with some sort of physical, metal finish. The ball helps to carry weight while pushing the force through the drive mechanism. While bearings can be made of a variety of different materials as well as different shapes, they all tend to operate in the same way. Let’s take a brief look at the different kinds of bearings you’ll find in mechanical power transmission systems.

Ball Bearings – The most common type of bearing for these types of systems, ball bearings can handle radial as well as thrust loads.

Roller Bearings
– Designed to carry heavier burdens, roller bearings help to evenly distribute weight while keeping the power transmission system working.

Thrust Bearings
– When looking at forward-backward-forward mechanical systems, thrust bearings will be the tool of choice.

As you can see, there are many different reasons that mechanical power transmission systems are so popular. The one recurring theme with this system is that bearings are absolutely required for the system to work.

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