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SLIDING BEARINGS – QUIET WITH HIGH LOAD CAPACITY

 

GleitlagerIn addition to the rolling bearing, the sliding bearing is the most frequently used bearing type in machine and equipment construction. Like rolling bearings, sliding bearings are also used to guide parts that move with respect to each other or to support them. In doing so, they absorb the forces that are present and transfer them.

While the bearing elements for rolling bearings are separated from each other by rolling elements, with sliding bearings the moving component does so on the sliding surface of an immoveable bearing liner, bearing bush or a sliding strip. In this way, the sliding movement occurs directly between the part supported by the bearing and sliding layer of the bearing body. If both parts move, which is what happens with most sliding bearings, the contact surfaces are subject to wear, which reduces the bearing’s service life. The resistance generated in this case can be achieved by using a combination of low friction materials or by lubrication or creating a lubrication film that separates the contact surfaces from each other. The creation of a lubrication film, however, requires additional effort and costs, which is only worthwhile for large sliding bearings in large machines.

A typical sliding bearing is the radial bearing used to support a shaft in the radial direction with a hardened rolling surface. The shaft is encircled by a bearing bush that can be made of a variety of materials, e.g.

  • White metal
  • Bronze
  • Aluminium alloys
  • Plastics (e.g. PTFE, fibre-reinforced)
  • Ceramic
  • Bearing metal alloyed with lead
  • Brass alloys


The bush consists of a “softer” material than the shaft so that it is subject to wear first. It is easier and less expensive to replace the bush than the shaft. It is often manufactured in two parts, so it can be removed from the shaft radially.

Sliding bearing types include axial bearings, radial bearings, half shells, bushes, disks, strips and many other forms. They run quietly and are highly suitable for use in cases that involve high loads with relatively slow swivelling and rotating movements and in low and high temperature ranges. Due to their wide variety of special characteristics, they can be used in nearly any industry, primarily in applications with restricted installation space. Among others, the significant application areas include

  • Agricultural machinery
  • Construction equipment
  • Vehicle engineering
  • Water and steam turbines
  • Centrifugal pumps
  • Generators
  • Heavy ship shaft bearings