Plain bearings, otherwise known as bushings, are a type of mechanical elements that are used in machinery to provide a bearing surface that reduces friction between rotating shafts and stationary support while still offering support and bearing the load. When buying bushings, it’s important to know what types of bushings serve what kind of purpose best.
Journal bearings are commonly used to support the linear motion of engine crankshafts in large turbomachines. They are commonly hydrodynamic, meaning that they are separated by an oil wedge formed as the shaft rotates, and babbitted, meaning that they are lined with a soft white metal that supports fluid film lubrication.
Sleeve bearings follow similar principles to journal bearings; however, they are generally used to support both linear and rotary motion equally. Sleeve bearings can be rather simple pressed-in devices made of a variety of materials such as bronze, graphite, or plastics to better suit their vast assortment of applications. Sleeve bearings are either plain cylindrical and pressed flush into a component or flanged and stand proud of the component.
Spherical bearings are used in linkages and other such applications that involve angular rotation. They are commonly used in rod ends but can also be found in critical applications such as aerospace control linkages. Spherical bearings have an inner sphere that rotates angularly within the limits of the outer sphere with lubrication between the two to reduce friction.
Drill jig bushings are more for guidance than support as they are used in precision metal drilling operations. They are often made from harder steels than bushings normally and tightly tolerance to maintain the necessary accuracy needed for machining operations.
Of course, in addition to the mentioned above, there are also plenty of different types of bearings for different types of applications to consider. And it can all be very overwhelming to think about. From application and industry-specific regulations for materials, shape, strength, and lubrication compatibility, there are many things to take into consideration when choosing the right bushing or bearing. Fortunately, there’s Purchasing Management 360. Here at Purchasing Management 360, we have one of the largest inventories of aerospace and aviation hardware parts and board level electronic components on the market. From generic bushings to aircraft-specific bearings and connectors, we have it all. So, check us out the next time you’re in the market for bushings.
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