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Plain Bearing

The simplest type of bearing is a solid plain bearing, which consists of a cylinder with a hole drilled through the middle. Split bearings resemble solid bearings, however they are made of two separate components. Bearings with multiple parts have more than two sections. A couple of examples of solid plain bearings include sleeves and bushings.

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Bushing MFG accepts orders for any type of plain bearing made from special materials or custom bushings with a minimum quantity required.

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Plain Bearing – Things to Know

What is a Plain Bearing?

A plain bearing, also known as a slide bearing or a sliding bearing, is the most common and simple type of bearing. Plain bearings are the simplest kind of bearing because they have no moving parts. They are only made up of the bearing and the surface that will eventually slide upon it. As a result, they are one of the cheapest kinds of bearings and the most commonly used.

self lube plain bearing

Self-Lube Plain Bearing

What Motions are Plain Bearings Made For?

Generally, there are three different motions that plain bearings can make, and each motion gives the bearing a unique name. For radial and rotary motions, the bearings is referred to as a journal bearing. For linear motions, the bearing is referred to as a linear bearing, a sliding bearing, or a slide bearing. Finally, for axial movements, or ones that occur on an axle, the bearing is referred to as a thrust bearing. This type of plain bearing is flanged to provide extra torque.

3 types of plain bearings:

  1. Plain shaft bearing
  2. Plain bearing bush
  3. Spherical plain bearing

How are Plain Bearings Applications?

Since plain bearings are so generic and broad in nature, their applications are broader than any other bearing in existence. It is impossible to list every function of a plain bushing because there are simply thousands of uses for them. However, this list will outline the most popular uses for a few different types of plain bearings. Keep in mind that there are still more types of plain bearings, and each type has potentially hundreds of uses!

Journal bearings:

  • Crankshafts
  • Camshafts
  • Rotating Applications
  • Railway Freight Car Axles
  • Combustion Engines
  • Powertrains

Sliding bearings:

  • Construction
  • Precision Tooling
  • Other Sliding Motions

Thrust bearings

  • Propeller shafts
  • Drive chains
  • Other Axial Driving Motions

Plain Bearing VS Ball Bearing

The difference between plain bearings and ball bearings is whether or not there is a rolling component. Plain bearings use nothing but the bearing itself to provide motion, while ball bearings use a ball or rolling structure to provide extra, freer motion. Ball bearings allow for full, spherical motion on every axis, while plain bearings allow for a wide range on motions on one or two axes. While the applications of ball bearings are broader and more complex, they also require higher amounts of maintenance and lubrication. That is one advantage of plain bearings over ball bearings.

What Materials are Plain Bearings Made of?

Plain bearings are used in countless applications, and their intended use will determine what material they should be made from. Typically, plain bearings are made from three different kinds of materials: polymers, graphite, or metals. Metal slide bearings are typically made out of bronze or other copper alloys, which can include any combination of tin, lead, copper, steel, and more. Bearings made with graphite are commonly referred to as carbon insert bearings, as the carbonic graphite is used as an inserted shaft lubricant. This is most common when the application of the bearing is too strenuous for traditional metals. The third material is PFTE or nylon, which allows for plain bearings to work longer without the need for maintenance. PFTE is very resistant to corrosion, extending the product life even further. 

Are Plain Bearings Customizable?

Plain Bearings are extremely customizable, and at Bushing MFG we are able to make our bearings according to your design. as a professional plain bearing manufacturers we can provide plain sleeve bearing as:
Buying our traditional, in-stock sizes enables faster delivery, but we are open to building bearings exactly how you would like them. Reach out to us with any questions, and our dedicated sales team will happily help you!

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