What are Aerospace Bearings and Their Common Types?

When operating assemblies with moving parts, bearings serve as crucial components that facilitate motion, transfer loads, and provide lubrication to mitigate friction. When designed for use in aircraft, such bearings are made to be highly robust in order to withstand the extreme conditions of flight. As such, aerospace bearings are manufactured to meet military specifications as dictated by the United States government and are often capable of withstanding forces such as corrosion, extreme temperatures, and shock. Depending on the needs of a particular assembly, various types of bearings may be used with different sizes, weights, and load capacity requirements.

The plain bearing serves as one of the most common and simplistic types, and they provide a standard surface that is devoid of rolling elements. Constructed from metals such as aluminum, silver, or bronze, the plain bearing may be used to accommodate the radial loads of an assembly. Within an aircraft, the plain bearing is often implemented for the camshaft, crankshaft, cam ring, connecting rods, and more. Furthermore, smaller plain bearings known as bushings may be used for shafts.

A collar bearing is a type of thrust bearing that may have one or more faces to accommodate the axial pressures of collars on a rotating shaft. When used within aerospace settings, such types of bearings are often used to facilitate axial loads. Depending on the need of the assembly, collar bearings may be designed to come with a varying amount of collars.

A roller bearing is another common bearing type, and they present rolling elements that can facilitate and distribute the loads of an assembly. As an aerospace bearing, roller bearings are typically used for the aircraft engine and most often come in the form of straight roller and tapered roller bearings. With a straight roller bearing, the radial loads of an engine assembly may be withstood. With the tapered roller bearing, on the other hand, both radial and thrust loads may be carried with the cone-shaped surfaces of the component. Roller bearings in general may also be used for the crankshaft of reciprocating aircraft engines and in gas turbine engines due to their capabilities.

The ball bearing is similar to the roller bearing, both belonging to the family of rolling-element bearings. With the ball bearing in particular, balls are loosely placed on inner and outer races and serve to bear the pressure and loads of assemblies. For reciprocating engines, ball bearings may be used for the transferring of propeller thrust and radial loads. Such bearings may also be used within gas turbine engines as well, often implemented to accommodate the radial and thrust loads of shafts.

Beyond their use within aircraft engines and similar assemblies, aerospace bearings may also serve helicopters, missile systems, defense aircraft, and much more. As aircraft are often diverse in their construction, application, and design, engineers can create special bearings that can fulfill the requirements of a particular model. As an example, aerospace bearings can be specifically designed to withstand extremely high temperatures, allowing them to be used in structures that are closer to the combustion chamber of the engine. When an aerospace bearing is initially designed, materials, designs, lubrication, surface coatings, and traceability are all factors that are considered to ensure that a particular component will serve its application well.

When you are in the market for aerospace bearings that you can steadily rely on, look no further than Methodical Purchasing. As a leader among online parts distributors, we provide competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on all the plain bearings, ball bearings, roller bearings, collar bearings, and other types of bearings that we carry. Before our parts are shipped, all items undergo rigorous quality assurance testing, inspection, and cross-referencing. Furthermore, every item ships alongside its qualifying certifications or manufacturing trace documents for your benefit. Get started on the procurement process today and experience how Methodical Purchasing can help you with your bearing needs.


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