Bearings and bushings are common types of hardware components, assisting assemblies by bearing loads and minimizing the friction between moving parts. Bearings and bushings are often defined by the direction of loads that they undertake, as well as the operations and motions that they facilitate. As components that are found in countless installations, it can be useful to familiarize oneself with the most popular variations and how they benefit different applications.
Before discussing various bearings and bushings, it is first important to understand the difference between the two components themselves. Bearings are machine elements, constraining motion while mitigating friction between moving surfaces. A bushing, meanwhile, is simply a type of bearing, coming in the form of a plain bearing inserted into a housing for the means of offering rotary applications a bearing surface. While a bushing is a form of bearing, bearings can come in numerous forms that differ from bushings.
The ball bearing is one of the most common forms of bearing, featuring balls that are placed between an inner and outer race. With their structure, ball bearings are well suited to support rotating shafts. Coming in two forms, the deep groove ball bearing is best fit for high radial load applications while the angular ball bearing can undertake radial and axial loads together. Generally, ball bearings find use in numerous applications ranging from the rotation of skateboard wheels to the operations of aerospace assemblies.
The roller bearing is similar to the ball bearing, both being rolling-element types. Rather than use ball-shaped rollers, however, the roller bearing employs cylindrical roller or tapered rollers that are placed between their races. With their assembly, such bearings are well suited to take on heavy radial loads during high speed operations. With their low heat and noise generation, roller bearings are optimal for many industries and machine applications.
A needle bearing is a compact component, fit for smaller applications. Due to their rigid construction, needle bearings are best for assemblies that feature oscillating motions, such as home appliances. With their low weight and limited clearance areas, needle bearings are very beneficial for numerous applications and uses.
The sleeve bearing is a more specialized type, their design sitting between that of a bearing and bushing. Such components are often referred to as bushings, and they are commonly found in installations where they facilitate the operations of rotating or sliding parts. When lubricated, sleeve bearings can provide quiet, low friction operations. Generally, simplistic sleeve bearings are best for radial loads, while flanged sleeve types serve to take on axial loads.
In general, a bushing may be constructed from a variety of materials, each of which may have an effect on the component’s performance and functionality. Bronze bushings are quite common, their material providing high durability and resistance to corrosion and deformation. While exhibiting long service lives, bronze bushings require more lubrication than other types. Plastic bushings, meanwhile, are self-lubricating, and as such they are low-friction, low-maintenance, and low-cost. Due to their lack of corrosion risk and self-lubrication, plastic bushings are often placed in wet environments and hard-to-reach spaces.
As each bushing and bearing differs in its particular capabilities, it is important that individuals purchase parts that are well suited to their particular needs and application. Aerospace Aviation 360 is a leading distributor of parts, and we are your sourcing solution for high-quality bearings and bushings that have been sourced from top global manufacturers that we trust. Take the time to fully explore our offered items, and our team of industry experts are always readily on standby 24/7x365 to help you through the purchasing process as necessary. If you have any questions regarding our services or would like to initiate the purchasing process, give our team members a call or email at your earliest convenience and we would be more than happy to help you however necessary!