A thrust bearing is a particular type of rotary bearing. Like other bearings they permanently rotate between parts, but they are designed to support a predominantly axial load.
Thrust bearings come in several varieties.
Thrust bearings are commonly used in automotive, marine, and aerospace applications. They are also used in the main and tail rotor blade grips of RC (radio controlled) helicopters.
Thrust bearings are used in cars because the forward gears in modern car gearboxes use helical gears which, while aiding in smoothness and noise reduction, cause axial forces that need to be dealt with.
Thrust bearings are also used with radio antenna masts to reduce the load on an antenna rotator.
One specific thrust bearing in an automobile is the clutch "throw out" bearing, sometimes called the clutch release bearing.
Fluid-film thrust bearings were invented by Albert Kingsbury, who discovered the principle in the course of bearing and lubrication investigations commencing in 1888 while a student. His first experimental bearing was tested in 1904. He filed for a patent in 1907, and it was granted in 1910.The first Kingsbury bearing in hydroelectric service, one of its major applications, was installed at the Holtwood Generating Station in 1912. It remains in full use today.
Thrust bearings were independently invented by Australian engineer George Michell (pronounced Mitchell) who patented his invention in 1905.
Fluid thrust bearings contain a number of sector-shaped pads, arranged in a circle around the shaft, and which are free to pivot. These create wedge-shaped regions of oil inside the bearing between the pads and a rotating disk, which support the applied thrust and eliminate metal-on-metal contact.
Kingsbury and Michell's invention was notably applied to the thrust block in ships. The small size (one-tenth the size of old bearing designs), low friction and long life of Kingsbury and Michell's invention made possible the development of more powerful engines and propellers. They were used extensively in ships built during World War I, and have become the standard bearing used on turbine shafts in ships and power plants worldwide. (See also Michell/Kingsbury tilting-pad fluid bearings)
A ball bearing is a type of rolling-element bearing that uses balls to maintain the separation between the bearing races.
Fluid bearings are bearings in which the load is supported by a thin layer of rapidly moving pressurized liquid or gas between the bearing surfaces. Since there is no contact between the moving parts, there is no sliding friction, allowing fluid bearings to have lower friction, wear and vibration than many other types of bearings, it is possible for some such bearings to have near-zero wear if operated correctly.
A bearing is a machine element that constrains relative motion to only the desired motion, and reduces friction between moving parts. The design of the bearing may, for example, provide for free linear movement of the moving part or for free rotation around a fixed axis; or, it may prevent a motion by controlling the vectors of normal forces that bear on the moving parts. Most bearings facilitate the desired motion by minimizing friction. Bearings are classified broadly according to the type of operation, the motions allowed, or to the directions of the loads (forces) applied to the parts.
A magnetic bearing is a type of bearing that supports a load using magnetic levitation. Magnetic bearings support moving parts without physical contact. For instance, they are able to levitate a rotating shaft and permit relative motion with very low friction and no mechanical wear. Magnetic bearings support the highest speeds of all kinds of bearing and have no maximum relative speed.
A plain bearing, or more commonly sliding bearing and slide bearing, is the simplest type of bearing, comprising just a bearing surface and no rolling elements. Therefore, the journal slides over the bearing surface. The simplest example of a plain bearing is a shaft rotating in a hole. A simple linear bearing can be a pair of flat surfaces designed to allow motion; e.g., a drawer and the slides it rests on or the ways on the bed of a lathe.
A rolling-element bearing, also known as a rolling bearing, is a bearing which carries a load by placing rolling elements between two bearing rings called races. The relative motion of the races causes the rolling elements to roll with very little rolling resistance and with little sliding.
A pillow block is a pedestal used to provide support for a rotating shaft with the help of compatible bearings & various accessories. Housing material for a pillow block is typically made of cast iron or cast steel.
Tapered roller bearings are rolling element bearings that can support axial forces as well as radial forces.
A ball screw is a mechanical linear actuator that translates rotational motion to linear motion with little friction. A threaded shaft provides a helical raceway for ball bearings which act as a precision screw. As well as being able to apply or withstand high thrust loads, they can do so with minimum internal friction. They are made to close tolerances and are therefore suitable for use in situations in which high precision is necessary. The ball assembly acts as the nut while the threaded shaft is the screw. In contrast to conventional leadscrews, ballscrews tend to be rather bulky, due to the need to have a mechanism to re-circulate the balls.
Sven Gustaf Wingqvist was a Swedish engineer, inventor and industrialist, and one of the founders of Svenska Kullagerfabriken (SKF), one of the world's leading ball bearing and roller bearing makers. Sven Wingqvist invented the multi-row self-aligning ball bearing in 1907.
A spherical plain bearing is a bearing that permits angular rotation about a central point in two orthogonal directions. Typically these bearings support a rotating shaft in the bore of the inner ring that must move not only rotationally, but also at an angle.
Brinelling is the permanent indentation of a hard surface. It is named after the Brinell scale of hardness, in which a small ball is pushed against a hard surface at a preset level of force, and the depth and diameter of the mark indicates the Brinell hardness of the surface. Brinelling is a process of wear in which similar marks are pressed into the surface of a moving part, such as bearings or hydraulic pistons. The brinelling is usually undesirable, as the parts often mate with other parts in very close proximity. The very small indentations can quickly lead to improper operation, such as chattering or excess vibration, which in turn can accelerate other forms of wear, such as spalling and galling.
A thrust block, also known as a thrust box, is a specialised form of thrust bearing used in ships, to resist the thrust of the propeller shaft and transmit it to the hull.
Albert Kingsbury was an American engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He was responsible for over fifty patents obtained between the years 1902 to 1930. Kingsbury is most famous for his hydrodynamic thrust bearing which uses a thin film of oil to support weights of up to 220 tons. This bearing extended the service life of many types of machinery during the early 20th century. It was primarily outfitted on Navy ships during World War I and World War II.
A cam follower, also known as a track follower, is a specialized type of roller or needle bearing designed to follow cam lobe profiles. Cam followers come in a vast array of different configurations, however the most defining characteristic is how the cam follower mounts to its mating part; stud style cam followers use a stud while the yoke style has a hole through the middle.
The yaw bearing is the most crucial and cost intensive component of a yaw system found on modern horizontal axis wind turbines. The yaw bearing must cope with enormous static and dynamic loads and moments during the wind turbine operation, and provide smooth rotation characteristics for the orientation of the nacelle under all weather conditions. It has also to be corrosion and wear resistant and extremely long lasting. It should last for the service life of the wind turbine) while being cost effective.
A roller screw, also known as a planetary roller screw or satellite roller screw, is a low-friction precision screw-type actuator, a mechanical device for converting rotational motion to linear motion, or vice versa. Planetary roller screws are used as the actuating mechanism in many electro-mechanical linear actuators. Due to its complexity the roller screw is a relatively expensive actuator, but may be suitable for high-precision, high-speed, heavy-load, long-life and heavy-use applications.
Spiral groove bearings are self-acting, or hydrodynamic bearings used to reduce friction and wear without the use of pressurized lubricants. They have this ability due to special patterns of grooves. Spiral groove bearings are self-acting because their own rotation builds up the pressure needed to separate the bearing surfaces. For this reason, they are also contactless bearings.
A spherical roller bearing is a rolling-element bearing that permits rotation with low friction, and permits angular misalignment. Typically these bearings support a rotating shaft in the bore of the inner ring that may be misaligned in respect to the outer ring. The misalignment is possible due to the spherical internal shape of the outer ring and spherical rollers. Despite what their name may imply, spherical roller bearings are not truly spherical in shape. The rolling elements of spherical roller bearings are mainly cylindrical in shape, but have a profile that makes them appear like cylinders that have been slightly over-inflated.
A spherical roller thrust bearing is a rolling-element bearing of thrust type that permits rotation with low friction, and permits angular misalignment. The bearing is designed to take radial loads, and heavy axial loads in one direction. Typically these bearings support a rotating shaft in the bore of the shaft washer that may be misaligned in respect to the housing washer. The misalignment is possible due to the spherical internal shape of the house washer.