For effective running of machines, it is imperative that a specific bearing is used. The developments in engineering technology have made significant contributions in the design and improvement of bearings in order to facilitate easy handling of heavy loads during the rotational movement of machine components. Moreover, they also go through self-alignment when functioning under harsh and adverse conditions.
Spherical Plain Bearings | Image Resource : shutterstock.com
Among the several bearing variants, the spherical plain bearings are designed to undergo “multi-directional alignment movements” and they come in standardized design and dimensions to enable easy mounting and dismounting for maintenance. They are used predominantly to handle heavy loads when the bearing makes repeated slewing and tilting movements at reasonably low speeds. The forces acting may happen during the oscillating and slewing movements at comparatively low speed or the forces may remain static.
With the standardization of the spherical plain bearing, it is interchangeable and comes as a ready-to-mount unit. It has the parts such as outer and inner rings, sliding contact surfaces, rollers and a cage. However, the most important feature of this spherical bearing is its inner and outer rings, which are crafted to have “sphered convex outside diameter and “sphered concave inside surface”.
With the ring raceways of the spherical plain bearing built using “high carbon chromium steel” and toughened and phosphate coated, it does not undergo stress while oscillation and shifting of loads to the sliding contact surfaces and also not get corroded.
Different Types of Spherical Plain Bearing
You have enough types of spherical plain bearing when it comes to finding an appropriate one. Some of the popular ones found in use are the radial spherical plain bearing, spherical plain thrust bearing, angular contact spherical plain bearing, and more. All the types mentioned above are known for their spherical sliding contact surfaces, which gives an advantage over the angular contact ball bearings by handling a combination of radial and axial loads.
With the use of this type of rolling bearing found in most of the industries, it is conveniently classified as:
Self-lubricating Spherical Plain Bearing: This comes with a “self-lubricating PTFE liner”, and as a result, it helps the machines to function under extreme and unfriendly conditions, without any breaks or stoppages for maintenance. The bearing has a long service life for there is no requirement for lubrication at regular intervals.
Spherical Plain Bearing Requiring Lubrication: The spherical plain bearing of this type asks for lubrication and maintenance for it does not encourage lubrication due to no fitting grooves and holes.
With a lot of variants and designs available, it is essential to find an appropriate spherical plain bearing and any accessories like cages, pillow block bearing, brackets, etc., for a better use.