What is a Bushing?
A bushing is called by many different terms. It can be referenced as a plain bearing, solid bearing, friction bearing, or slide bearing. They are used in many different industries and machinery. The use of bushing is to reduce the friction, vibration, and noise that machinery might create. Some examples of uses of bushings are in automotive machines, drilling operations, pumps, and motors. Bushings are like thin tubes that improve efficiency on rotating and sliding shafts. High-quality bushings, like self-lubricating bushings, also reduce vibration and operate more quietly.
What is the Difference Between Bushings and Bearings?
There is not much of a difference between bushings and bearings. Generally, a bearing is a part that enables the movement of two other parts while reducing friction. Bearings are very common and can be used in almost any application. A bushing is a type of bearing that is used for certain specific applications. Essentially, a bushing is always a bearing, but not all bearings are bushings. Additionally, bushings are a single part while bearings can be made up of several parts.
What Types of Bushings Are There?
There are tens of different kinds of bushings, as the uses for bushings are extensive and broad. Here is a list of the most common types of bushings and what they are. Journal bearings are used to support a linear motion in engines. Sleeve bearings are used similarly to journal bearings except that they support both linear and rotary motion equally. Sleeve bearings are usually a plain cylinder but can be flanged. Spherical bearings are used in applications that require angular rotating movements. These spherical bearings allow for a wider range of motion than regular plain bearings and are usually self-lubricating. There are many other types of bushings, too, as this list is just an introduction to the full range of bushings.
Bushings can be made of many different materials. The traditional bushings are made of different types of metal. These can include steel, stainless steel, bronze, bronze alloys, and more. Nowadays, bushings are often made from polymers or plastics which offer many benefits that metal bushings do not. Plastic bushings, otherwise known as PTFE or Nylon bushings, operate more quietly and efficiently than metal ones. Additionally, they are self-lubricating, which means that they require much less maintenance and do not need to be lubricated externally. These are considered to be the future of bushings. In addition to self-lubricating plastic bushings and traditional metal bushings, bushings can also be made from a combination of both. These are sometimes called hybrid bushings.
What is a Bushing Used For?
Bushings are one of the most common machine parts and are used in just about every application. They are extremely versatile, and they can be custom-made to work in almost any machine. Below are some of the most common uses of bushings.
Bushings are Used in Cars
Cars create many vibrations and sounds when turned on. The busing on a car is typically a small rubber component that provides cushioning for the various metal pieces in order to reduce the vibrations emitted by the running engine. They can be placed in a multitude of locations across the vehicle including the sway bar, the control arm, and even between the suspension and frame.
Bushings are Used in Plumbing
The main use of bushings in plumbing is to connect different pipes together. These bushings can connect a larger pipe to a smaller pipe. A benefit to plumbing bushings is that they take up less space than a coupling or a union.
Bushings are Used for Electrical Applications.
In the electrical industry, bushings are hollow electrical insulators whose purpose is to allow heat to safely be conducted through circuit breakers. Anything that carries an electric charge emits a very powerful electric field and needs to be safely contained and transferred. An electrical bushing helps to contain the shape and strength of this field.
Bushings are Used in Factories
As a part that just about every machine needs, bushings are used all over the place in factories. Industrial machinery has so many moving parts, and this leads to the need for many bushings. In a factory there are so many uses for bushings that it is pointless to even begin to list them.
How do Bushings Work?
Bushings work by sliding over rods or pipes to provide an extremely low-friction motion. Their shape and means of operation are great at absorbing shock, which extends the life of all of the machine parts surrounding it and reduces noise and vibrations. Self-lubricating bushings complete the same motion but also retain and reuse lubrication from the surface of the rods. By reusing this lubrication perpetually, the need for maintenance is drastically reduced.