Sliding Bearing Guide

What is a sliding bearing?

A sliding bearing, also known as a plain bearing, is a device that is wrapped around a shaft, a rod, or other forms of objects that spin or move constantly at a high speed, in order to reduce the friction that is made from the contacting surfaces between the inner and outer objects.

As the above introduction has mentioned, the bearings are dedicated to eliminate the friction that is produced from the contacting surfaces between two moving objects. The more friction the two working objects make, the more heat the working site produce.

The heat that is produced on the working sites is never a good thing, as it may cause the malfunctioning or even damaging of the working objects, or the deformation of the products when in the circumstances of machining works.

There are a variety of bearings that work as the similar functions, but with different design or configurations. Among all the types of bearings, the sliding bearings have the largest contacting surfaces between the bearings and the objects they work for, which makes them to produce a bit more friction than others.

However, right because the sliding bearings come in contact with their works with large contacting surfaces, they perform well in the vibration damping feature. In addition, depending on the materials that make up the sliding bearings, these bearings can accommodate to either static or dynamic loads with the least noise being made.

How does a sliding bearing form?

A sliding bearing is made as a cylindrical with a hollow interior that is usually called the bore, and the measuring of the sliding bearing can be presented in the inside  diameter and the outside diameter.

Compared to the counterparts of the sliding bearings, which are the ball bearings and roller bearings, the sliding bearings have no moving parts inside the configuration, only the shaft or axle rotates inside the bearings. Although they have no such balls or rollers to support the moving of their works, they are capable of reducing the friction by the materials of them and the forms that they are presented.

The first one is the materials. These bearings can be mainly made of alloys, plastics, ceramics, or oil-impregnated sintered materials. The alloys take the most proportion of them, including bronze, aluminum alloys, white alloys, or brass alloys.

The bearings that are made of alloys cost higher, but perform better in the operations with high temperature and pressure, since they have high wear-resistance compared to other materials.

The plastic bearing consist of a polymer base and a reinforcing material that is used to strengthen the property of the plastic material. In addition, between the base and the reinforcing material, there would be lubricant that helps that facilitate the reduction of friction. This material is relatively cost-effective but versatile, as it is water or chemical-resistant.

The ceramic bearings surpass the other materials in their robust and corrosion-resistant features, which allows them to be applied in the rotors of the pumps. For this type of bearings, the lubricating function is conducted by the liquid around the pumps.

Inside the oil-impregnated sintered bearings, the interior is usually presented as numerous pores where the oil is impregnated in, which works for the lubricating of the bearings during operation.

How does a sliding bearing work?

The working orientations of the sliding bearings can be axial or radial, which make them easier to slide, rotate, oscillate, or reciprocate, and this is related to the configurations on the edges of the bearings.

There are three types of configurations that can be seen on these bearings, including cylindrical bearings, flanged bearings, thrust washers or flanged thrust washers.

For radial orientation of the loads, the cylindrical and the flanged bearings would be used, while for the axial orientation of the loads, the flanged bearings and the thrust washers or flanged washers would be required instead. The former is for lighter loads, and the latter is for heavier loads.

What are the advantages of adopting the sliding bearings?

● vibration damping
Compared to other types of bearings, these bearings have better vibration damping feature, because of the larger and wider contacting surfaces between the bearings and their works, which make them versatile for being adopted in a variety of applications.

● quiet operation
Unlike their counterparts such as ball bearings, which rotate with both outer and inner ring ball races, the inner part of these bearings are static, which reduce the noise that may be made during operation.

● longer lifespan
Since these bearings can be made of various materials including alloys or ceramics, which are the materials that owns the features of wear or corrosion-resistance.

This not only facilitates the smoothness of the operating process, but also extends the lifespan of the bearings, and thus reduce the costs and efforts to repair or maintain these bearings frequently.

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