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Plain Bearings

Plain bearings are mechanical components which allows angular rotation to occur around a central point in two angled directions. These bearings come in many different types to accommodate a wide variety of applications and what they all have in common is the ability to accommodate misalignment from mounting or shaft deflection. A plain bearing will typically accommodate a rotating shaft within the inner ring, allowing it to rotate and move at an angle.

Plain bearings can be made from various materials and feature an outer and inner ring and are usually self lubricating, corrosion and chemically resistant. Bearings that require maintenance should be greased before being used and then re-lubricated when needed. These bearings have a fixed part which bears the loads (support) and also an area that gets worn as it is in contact with the moving element (bush)

RS Components have a range of high-performance spherical bearings with bore sizes ranging from 3 mm to 140 mm and various outside dimeters from 12 mm to 225 mm to meet a number of bearing solutions requirements in many operating applications.

What types of plain bearings are available?

  • Radial spherical plain bearings
  • Angular contact spherical plain bearings
  • Spherical plain thrust bearings

How do plain bearings work?

Regardless of the type of spherical bearing, they all have the same working principal. These bearings all have outer rings that have spherical inner mouldings. The inner rings have convex outer mouldings that create a perfect sliding surface. The use of other rolling elements such as balls or rollers between the inner and outer rings.

Plain bearing applications

Spherical bearings are used in countless applications, wherever rotational motion must be allowed to change the alignment of its rotation axis. An example of this is the drive axle bearings of a vehicle control arm suspension. The mechanics must be allowed to move the axle up and down and the axle bearings must allow the rotational axis of the axle. These bearing can be used in machinery and applications such as:

  • Engines
  • Car suspension systems
  • Heavy machinery
  • Sewing machines
  • Robotics

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