Understanding What Shaft Bearing is All About

August 12, 2020

A wide variety of businesses utilises the capabilities of bearings in assembling their pieces of equipment or machinery. A bearing is a piece of hardware component that can constrict the relative motion of an object to the desired motion. It also reduces friction between mechanical parts, preventing them from being damaged during operations.

Bearings are designed to either allow free linear movement or rotary movement. They can also prevent a specific motion by controlling the trajectories of the forces that are exhibited by the moving components. To better narrow down the best bearing option for equipment or machine pieces, bearings are categorised by their operation type, motions allowed, and the directions of the loads.

Shaft Bearing Principles

Shaft bearings are intended to support an applied load and allow rotation or sliding motion between two or more mechanical parts. They are typically categorised based on their associated capabilities. Simple, inexpensive shaft bearings can provide smooth sliding motion and contact. High-precision shaft bearings, on the other hand, are used to produce very precise mechanical tolerance and maintain high reliability.

Aside from their capabilities, shaft bearings may also come in different sizes and types. The former is further categorised in either standard or metric measurements, while the latter is determined by their level of precision. Whenever choosing and buying shaft bearings, one should know the required rotational speed of the operation, the type of applied loads, size, weight, and safety requirements. As for the cost, higher precision shaft bearings tend to be more expensive than others since they guarantee outstanding reliability and extended service life. All these bearings, however, have standardised shaft and housing tolerances as mandated by the international standards, ensuring that they operate appropriately.

Types of Shaft Bearing

While shaft bearings can be categorised into different groups, there are two common types that are being maximised in various industries. One of these types is plain bearing. This type of shaft bearing is a simple and inexpensive bearing that is comprised of a cylindrical sleeve out of low friction material. The material used for the cylindrical sleeve, which can be bronze, graphite, or plastic, allows the shaft inside it to either rotate or slide flawlessly. Plain bearings are often used in applications that do not need high tolerances with lubrication just to extend their service life. However, the area where the outside diameter of the shaft encounters the inside diameter of the sleeve of this type of bearing makes it wear over time.

Another type of shaft bearing is known as a rolling-element bearing. This type of bearing has spheres or small cylinders that enable rotary or rolling action between the shaft and the mating parts. It also has an inner race that contains the hole on which the shaft slides into, an outer race that is situated inside a housing, and the rolling parts that are housed between the inner and outer races. The presence of spheres or small cylinders, as well as their ability to rotate or roll, can effectively decrease friction and permit stricter mechanical tolerances. Rolling-element bearings can come with seals and shields that readily protect the internal components from getting damaged or contaminated. Both shaft bearings can be used in various mechanical and industrial applications like automotive, aerospace, food & beverage, construction, industrial machinery, and many more. To know more about shaft bearings, just contact us at Global Bearings.

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