A Brief Introduction to Shaft Bearing

Posted on May 5, 2021

Shaft bearing

Shaft bearings can also be referred to as bearings used for supporting the shafts in different mechanisms. Depending on the movements of the relevant applications, shaft bearings can be simply divided into two types.

What Is Bearing?

Before we go deep into what the shaft bearing is, let’s first learn more about bearings. A bearing is a tool that has the ability to reduce friction between the moving parts. It is also possible to use bearings to limit the relative motion under management. Bearings are mostly utilized for two main purposes. To begin with, bearings have the ability to transfer the motion. Secondly, if we need, bearings can also be used to transmit the moving force. 

Different types of bearings possess different traits and abilities. Some bearings are able to support the free linear movement of the moving part, and others are capable of stopping motion by controlling the vectors of the normal forces, which are carried on the moving part. Besides, these devices are composed of several components. It is common that bearings come with two rings and a raceway. Also, there are also some rolling elements to be found in the mechanism.  These rolling elements can be either rollers or balls. Within bearings, there is also a cage that is used to separate the rolling elements and guide them if required.


What Is a Shaft Bearing?

Now that we know about what is the bearing, we can now talk about what is the shaft bearing. A shaft bearing is a type of bearings that is used to support an applied load. The shaft bearing can also allow the motions of rotation or sliding between two or more parts. It is very common to see shaft bearings being used in so many applications in the mechanical and the industrial field, such as automotive, aerospace, and industrial machinery.

Shaft bearings can also be referred to as bearings used for supporting the shafts in different mechanisms. Depending on the movements of the relevant applications, shaft bearings can be simply divided into two types. For a shaft that does axial movement during operation, thrust bearings would be used; When a shaft does rotate movement, which means when it moves radially, radial bearings would be applied to help reduce friction and maintain the optimal functions of the devices.  

:: Read more: The Functionality and Advancement of Bearing


Different Types of Shaft Bearings

There are several types of shaft bearings in the market. Some shaft bearings are simply designed and not so expensive so that they are capable of providing sliding contact. There are also other types of shaft bearings that can help keep very precise mechanical tolerances and high reliability.


● Plain bearing

This is one common type of shaft bearing. A plain bearing is very simple to use and the price is also relatively reasonable. Within the plain bearing, there is a cylindrical sleeve that is made of materials and has low friction, such as bronze, plastic, or graphite. The cylindrical sleeve will allow a shaft to rotate or slide inside the sleeve. It is very common to apply the plain bearings for mechanical applications, which do not require high tolerances with lubrication, in order to prolong their usable life.


● Rolling element bearing

Another common type of shaft bearing is the rolling element bearing. The rolling element bearing utilizes a sphere or a small cylinder that rotates or rolls between a shaft and the mating parts. This way, the rolling element bearing has the ability to reduce friction and enable much tighter mechanical tolerances. 

The rolling element bearing consists of three main parts, which are the inner race,  outer race, and rollers. Within the inner race, there is a hole where the shaft slides into. The outer race on the other hand is often mounted inside a housing. As for the rollers, they are mechanical parts that are located between the inner and outer races.


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