The Facts About Flange Bearings
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Flange bearings are designed to offer support and strength to a shaft that is perpendicular to the surface of the bearings mount. There are three different types of flange bearings: Two-bolt flange bearings that are shaped like a diamond; Three-bolt flange bearings with a tri-cornered shape; and last but not least, the four-bolt flange bearings which is typically square or round shaped. Each of these bearings come in one of four versions: A roller bearing, needle roller, plain bearing and ball bearing. Flange bearings are mounted in a flange made from cast iron.
What Flange Bearings Actually do
Due to a problem known as shaft flex, that can be caused by a heavy load or high rate of speed that also causes vibration or movement with a shaft, a flange bearing is used to offer support to the shaft. If the shaft is runs at a high rate of speed, or is longer than average, multiple bearings may be needed. In many instances, the type of bearing used is decided based upon the issue you're having. Additionally, cost, space for mounting, and how much radial force from the shaft the bearing can withstand should be taken into consideration.
Installation and Application of Each Version
In most cases, a ball bearing flange is installed at the end of the outer part of the shaft. This allows for less friction during the rotation, as well as better smoothness. The small bearing contact area within this type does not bear the shaft weight, however it doesn't stabilize the linear movement either. A plain bearing, which is also called a bushing, allows for better linear movement due to a flat and smooth surface. These bearings are often packed with oil, and are typically a nylon or bronze bushing that requires little lubrication to function properly.
The roller bearing allows for greater radial support of heavy loads, while also reducing the shafts linear movement. Since the contact area of the longer roller bearing is larger, it provides the most support of all of the flange bearings. Due to it's strengthened abilities, it is generally the highest priced bearing type. A needle roller bearing, which is a flange mount type, maintains a lower profile, while supporting radial loads. These flanges can be grease free, or have it applied, the former being able to operate without it.
So there you have it. The best value for both performance and durability that I've seen for flange bearings can be found in the provided links. Not to mention they have a big selection and same day shipping. Which is important to most of us. Good luck with your next haul or project.