Type of Pillow Block Bearings and How to Choose the Right One?

Pillow block bearings are common bearing components that are found in various applications, serving to support a rotating shaft by acting as a pedestal. Pillow blocks are often referred to as a plummer block, and they come in the form of a mounting block assembly that is capable of housing a bearing within it. To securely mount and adjust the assembly, pillow block bearings feature mounting holes on their base. While pillow blocks themselves are fairly common to one another, they generally differ based on the bearing type that serves as the insert. In this blog, we will discuss the various insert bearing types that are featured with pillow block bearings, allowing you to better choose between the array options that are available on the market.

Plain bearings serve as the most common bearing inserts, and they are generally designed for guiding or mitigating direction within linear applications. Plain bearings may be constructed using various materials, the most common options including bronze, graphite metal alloys, or plastic. For a plain bearing to effectively operate without high amounts of friction, they use a sliding action and require ample lubrication.

Rolling-element bearing inserts are also common, and they come in the form of ball bearing and roller bearing variations. The ball bearing is one that features a ball as the rolling element, and this allows for rotary applications to achieve smooth, low friction operations. To construct a ball bearing, balls are placed between inner and outer rings.

Roller bearings are fairly similar, albeit featuring rollers that are less spherical in shape. Conical rollers are a common subtype, supporting radial and axial loads. Tapered-rollers are another option, and they feature a thrust level that is around 60% of the radial capacity. If high loads and shock tolerances are a requirement for a particular application, then spherical rollers may be used. These types feature rolling elements with either a crown- or sphere-shaped design. Despite their load benefits, spherical rollers are known for being limited in speed. The final primary roller bearing subtype is the cylindrical roller breaking, that of which exhibits a high radial capacity and moderate thrust load.

Needle rollers feature a needle roller as the rolling element, and they are similar to cylindrical roller bearings aside from their smaller diameter to length ratio. Through the management of the circumferential clearance between needles, the rolling elements are kept parallel to the shaft axis. When an application demands a low profile solution, needle rollers are the perfect fit.

The last common types of insert bearings are of the hydrodynamic variety, and such components are fluid film bearings that utilize a film of air or oil to maintain a clearance between elements that are stationary or in motion. While a more complex and costly type when compared to their counterparts, hydrodynamic bearings are beneficial for their long service lives and high stiffness characteristics.

Before initiating the purchasing process for a particular pillow block bearing and insert bearing, it is important to consider various factors that will determine the overall compatibility of a product. Generally, one should pay attention to the shaft diameter, shaft height, shaft size, maximum speed, and maximum load capacity. Once you have narrowed down your particular needs, there is no better alternative to Fulfillment 3Sixty for fulfilling your part needs.

Fulfillment 3Sixty is a leading distributor of parts that serve a diverse set of industry verticals, and we can help you save time and money while sourcing all the bearing types and bearing components that you require for carrying out your operations. Take the time to explore our expansive set of offerings as you see fit, and our RFQ service will allow you to quickly and easily request quotes for your comparisons with responses being given within 15 minutes of receiving a completed form. Give us a call or email when you are ready to initiate the procurement process, and our team would be more than happy to assist you however we can!


November 28, 2018

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