Bearings are commonplace in mechanical engineering, from your most basic idler pulley to much more complicated devices, and their use in aiding rotational forces makes them integral in most engineering projects. Take ball bearings, for example. Through the use of steel balls, bearings help reduce tension and friction and aid in rotation within a mechanical process, by utilizing their own rotation to fight against friction.
Think of a car wheel: car wheels rotate smoothly partially because of the ball bearings between the hub and the wheel. Without ball bearings, the wheel would be directly attached to the hub, and the steel would be sliding together with extreme friction.
Load Matters Most
The force pillow block bearings deal with is called a load. That load is either a radial load, or thrust load. When a car drives in a straight line, the bearings are under a radial load. When it has to turn, that load becomes a thrust load. Ball bearings can deal with both, which is why they’re used in cars. In a pulley, however, a ball bearing is excessive. Pulleys only exert a radial load on bearings, which is why an ideal bearing would be a straight roller bearing, which utilizes small metallic cylinders rather than balls.
When determining what type of pillow block bearings you need, your application’s load is what matters. If the force that a machinery is exerted on is in one direction alone – a radial force, or an axial one – then utilizing a bearing best specified to that force works best. As per Machine Design, in cars with need for resistance to high thrust load, you may need a thrust ball bearing, which is reinforced for thrust load, whereas needle bearings work best for applications with limited radial load.
Bearing housing matters, too. In moving cylinders, pillow block bearings are often used to protect against dust and other contaminants that could interfere with the bearing. Through an online material provider right here in Texas, you can source various different bearing housing types for industrial applications.