You are on page 1of 6

Bearing Friction

School of Engineering
Taylor’s University

Table of Contents:



2.1 Materials 3
2.2 Methods 4
2.3 Procedures 4

3.1 Table
3.2 Discussion



Aim To compare the efficiency of different bearing materials through determining the
frictional resistance to rotation

The main function of a bearing is to provide support and stability to a shaft as it is transferring energy
or power from one end of the shaft to the other. There are mainly two types of bearing categories
which are roller and journal bearings. Journal bearing are plain slider bearings where the bearing is
held in place and sliding contact happens with the surface of the rotating shaft. Whereas roller
bearings are bearing in which the journal rotates in peripheral contact with a number of rollers usually
contained in a cage.

1. Introduction

The friction produced in the bearing is unavoidable and will always be present as the product of
the rotating shaft and a stationary surface on which it moves upon. It is imperative that the friction
must be reduced as it is an unwanted by-product . Friction causes wastage of power in the form of
build-up of heat and wear. Thus, the choice of materials used are to be decided with further
consideration. In less complex machinery, where the speed and the load are low, it is commonly
found that the bearing rely on dry sliding contact against dissimilar materials. Such can also be
said in oil-lubricated bearings. It also depends on the dry sliding contact as the shaft begins to
move or returns to its original position. The experiment of the bearing friction alongst a self-
lubricating sintered bronze over a range of various materials provides an invaluable studying
opportunity. To compare the results, a roller bearing is used to see the effect of changing to
rolling contact.

2. Experiment Design
1. Wall Bracket
2. Cord
3. 1N load hanger
4. 300mm diameter flywheel and shaft
5. Journal bearing in Cast Iron, Tufnol, Oil Impregnated Bronze and ball bearing
2.2 Methods
W= weight of flywheel and shaft (N)
w= weight of hanger plus load (N)
x = offset from ) of resultant total weight
r = radius of shaft journal
R = radius of loading cord
N = normal reaction of bearing at point of contact with journal (N)
µ = coefficient of friction = tan
x =


2.3 Procedure
1. Before the apparatus were used, the solid metals bearings were degreased using dry tissue paper
to ensure that the dry friction coefficient can be measured

2. The flywheel was set up in turn with a pair of dry journal bearings . The cord was then winded up
around the shaft and the load hanger was added

3. Weights were added to the hanger until the flywheel turned at a constant speed as the load
descended after a gentle start was given. The test was repeated a few times with different low
speeds to see if the change in weight was necessary. An average total weight required was
recorded to each pair of dry bearings

4. The flywheel was set up using the metal journal bearings with thin machine oil as a lubricant.
The test was repeated and the average results were recorded

5. The ball bearing was internally lubricated with grease and used. The results were recorded

3. Results and discussion
3.1 Table
w (N) W+w (N) x (mm) Ɵ Friction µ
Cast Iron dry 20 247.59 1.292 8.743 0.154
Tufnol dry 21.3 248.89 1.369 9.268 0.163
Bronze dry 18.3 245.89 1.191 8.054 0.142
Cast Iron
18.3 245.89 1.191 8.054 0.142
Bronze oiled 16.3 243.89 1.069 7.225 0.127
Ball Race 0.5 228.09 0.035 0.236 0.004

1. In the experiment , the use of different speeds didn’t not noticeably affect the coefficient
friction. According to Coulombs’ third law of friction, the sliding friction is independent is of
its speed . However at speeds that are relatively much lower, the bearing surface and the shaft
will interact more due to the prolonged period of interactions which would lead to a formation
of static friction due to interlocking of surfaces[1]

2. As observed from the table above, the ball race bearing has the lowest coefficient friction of
0.004 however when comparing those that are under the journal bearing category, the bearing
made of bronze and oiled showed to lowest coefficient friction compared to the others even so
when in its dry state. In the other hand, the dry tufnol has the highest coefficient friction.
Having a high coefficient friction reduces the efficiency. As energy is transferred through the
shaft that is being held by the bearing, as both materials from both the shaft and bearing rub
against one another, more heat is generated thus resulting an overall reduction in driving

3. A good choice of a journal bearing from the list of materials above that would be the most
suitable in integrating into a centrifugal waste pump would be the bronze mainly due to it
having the lowest coefficient friction and also due to its resistance to corrosion from water[3].
This reduces the frequency of the maintenance that it has to undergo.

4. Frictional resistance of the roller bearing is significantly lower than that of the journal bearing
due to the presence of the ball or rollers which has rolling contact which removes the sliding
friction and substituted with a much lower rolling friction. However in the roller bearing, the
initial resistance to motion only slightly more than their resistance to continuous motion.[2]

4.0 Conclusion

Based on the experiment, we can conclude that bronze bearing has the least
coefficient friction and tufnol has the highest value. The coefficient friction can also
be reduced significantly using lubricants which would improve efficiency.

[4] School of Engineering Laboratory Handbook