27/09/10 7:49 PMBearing (mechanical) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 2 of 8http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearing_(mechanical)
Animation of ball bearing
friction; reduced friction allows tighter tolerances and thus higher precision than a plain bearing, andreduced wear extends the time over which the machine stays accurate. Plain bearings are commonly madeof varying types of metal or plastic depending on the load, how corrosive or dirty the environment is, andso on. In addition, bearing friction and life may be altered dramatically by the type and application of lubricants. For example, a lubricant may improve bearing friction and life, but for food processing abearing may be lubricated by an inferior food-safe lubricant to avoid food contamination; in other situationsa bearing may be run without lubricant because continuous lubrication is not feasible, and lubricants attractdirt that damages the bearings.
Principles of operation
There are at least six common principles of operation:plain bearing, also known by the specific styles: bushings, journal bearings, sleeve bearings, rifle bearingsrolling-element bearings such as ball bearings and rollerbearings jewel bearings, in which the load is carried by rolling theaxle slightly off-centerfluid bearings, in which the load is carried by a gas orliquidmagnetic bearings, in which the load is carried by amagnetic fieldflexure bearings, in which the motion is supported by aload element which bends.angular contact bearing
Common motions permitted by bearings are:Axial rotation e.g. shaft rotationLinear motion e.g. drawerspherical rotation e.g. ball and socket jointhinge motion e.g. door, elbow, knee
Reducing friction in bearings is often important for efficiency, to reduce wear and to facilitate extended useat high speeds and to avoid overheating and premature failure of the bearing. Essentially, a bearing canreduce friction by virtue of its shape, by its material, or by introducing and containing a fluid betweensurfaces or by separating the surfaces with an electromagnetic field.
, gains advantage usually by using spheres or rollers, or by forming flexure bearings.
, exploits the nature of the bearing material used. (An example would be using plasticsthat have low surface friction.)
, exploits the low viscosity of a layer of fluid, such as a lubricant or as a pressurized mediumto keep the two solid parts from touching, or by reducing the normal force between them.