BEARINGS by Application

Motion: Rotary

Rotary motion requires a bearing that supports radial loads, axial loads or a combination of both. With radial loads, the load is applied perpendicular to the axis of the bearing shaft.

Several important details are commonly overlooked when considering rotary motion and radial loads. Here are a few key considerations:

  • Is the rotation constant? If the rotation stops and starts, what is the frequency
  • Is the load constant or variable?
  • Is the rotation high speed or low speed?
  • Does the application experience any shock loads?
  • What is the operating temperature?
  • What are the properties of the shaft?
  • What are the environmental exposures?

Unless all of these details are considered, it’s possible that even a seemingly simple bearing application may have an unknown failure designed into it. Every application is unique, and different bearing types offer different advantages.

Unlike other bearing manufacturers, Spyraflo recognizes the benefits of each bearing medium and offers plain bearings as well as rolling element bearings for radial load applications. Our bearings expertise, combined with Spyraflo’s unique product features, will result in a superior quality product in terms of performance and cost.

Consider an application that would seem appropriate for a radial ball bearing. The loads and speeds match the ratings of the ball bearing but the application is exposed to shock loads and high temperature (i.e., 350° F).

Shock loads can be damaging to a ball bearing because of the small point of contact between the ball and the bearing races. This force is transmitted through one or more of the balls, which causes deformation. This deformation can cause spalling or an out-of-round condition of the rolling elements which will quickly lead to bearing failure.

The other issue in this example is the elevated temperature of 350° F — beyond the specification of standard lubricants. Exposed to this amount of heat, the lubricant will fail, allowing metal-on-metal wear. In some cases the lubricant may become a carbon residue which acts as an abrasive.

For an application like this, Spyraflo recommends using a needle roller bearing with a high-temperature lubricant, or a high-temperature plain bearing, depending on the magnitude of the shock load. In addition, we can modify a design — or design a completely custom solution if the application or quantity makes such an investment worthwhile.

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