What Are Sleeve Bearings?

Posted on June 15, 2022 David Atkinson Aircraft Bearings

Bearings are machine elements that limit the relative motion of components while simultaneously reducing friction between moving parts. As such, they find use in a wide range of industries and countless applications. More than that, there are a multitude of bearing types, one of which includes sleeve bearings.

Before outlining sleeve bearings in detail, it is important to understand the role of bearings in general. Beyond reducing friction and enabling smooth rotation, bearings also protect the parts that support rotation and maintain the correct position for the rotating shaft. Depending on the load type, bearings can prevent damage from excessive loads or force.

Sleeve bearings in particular facilitate motion between two components, absorbing friction and reducing vibration. Unlike the rolling action of a ball or roller bearing, sleeve bearings have a sliding action. Also known as bushings, plain bearings, or journal bearings, sleeve bearings are self-lubricating to ensure smooth, continuous operation.

Containing a bearing surface and mating components, the role of sleeve bearings is to ensure linear or rotational movement between two parts. The resulting low coefficient of friction reduces heat and provides incredible wear resistance. Furthermore, robust versions can handle high loads and high temperatures, their contact area has a high shock load resistance, and they can compensate for the misalignment of other components.

Compact, lightweight, and easy to install, some of the applications they serve include electric motors, transmission shafts, and many others. Another major benefit of sleeve bearings revolves around their high load capacity which makes them suitable for a variety of heavy-duty applications. Each sleeve bearing’s unique features and capabilities rely on their design and material composition.

In fact, there are a few basic types, with the most common type being a flanged sleeve bearing which can take on axial and side loads with ease. For heavy side loads, a thrust washer and cylindrical bearing can be used. In contrast, if the load is entirely radial, a simple cylindrical bearing works just fine.

Sleeve bearings can be made of numerous materials. For example, plastic is a low-cost option and comes in many shapes and sizes. Meanwhile, side, cast, or sintered metal bearings have a low coefficient of friction when used with hard steel shafts, but make a lot of noise. On the other hand, bearings made of PTFE are reinforced with metal, self-lubricating, and dampen sound and vibrations.

Self-lubricating sleeve bearings are especially useful, those of which ensure smooth operation and extend the bushing’s service life. Since they do not require external lubricants like grease or oil, they work reliably under varying operating conditions and a range of operating temperatures. Nonetheless, additional lubricant can be beneficial in terms of wear and friction.

ASAP Parts 360 is a premier distributor of aviation parts and components, all of which have been sourced from leading manufacturers across the globe. Additionally, we carry quality bearings by Boeing Aircraft, Airbus France, Aimtec, and many others. With over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items in our inventory, customers can fulfill their operational requirements with ease.

Get started by requesting a quote on any desired part through our Instant RFQ services. We only ask that you include as many of your part specifications in the form, such as target prices, desired quantities, and expected shipping time frames. Within 15 minutes of submission, an expert team member will tailor a customized solution that keeps your needs in mind. Backed by rapid lead times and unbeatable cost savings on thousands of items, ASAP Parts 360 is ready to help you meet even the most rigid time constraints without breaking the bank.

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