Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Understanding Sleeve Bearings


















So many bearings, so little time! We’ve previously written about different types of bearings and how bearings work, but today we’re going to hone in on one specific type of bearing we manufacture at Atlas Bronze: the sleeve bearing.

What Are Sleeve Bearings?

Sleeve bearings may come in a different form than other kinds of bearings, but they have the same purpose: to reduce friction between two or more moving parts. Bearings bear the load and force of one moving part on another, allowing both simple and complex machines to run smoothly, preventing wear and tear from friction.

As their name suggests, sleeve bearings are quite literally sleeves made of plastic, metal, or fiber-reinforced composite material. Sleeve bearings slide between two moving parts, absorbing friction and reducing both noise and vibration. 

Sleeve Bearing Basics

A sleeve bearing that’s made with metal is typically comprised of steel, bronze, graphite, or brass. As discussed above, polymer plastic and composite sleeve bearings are an option as well, but their use is limited to specific applications, while metal bearings are more widely used. Any material used to make sleeve bearings must be durable, low friction, resistant to corrosion, and able to withstand high temperatures.

To further reduce friction, some sleeve bearings come complete with lubricant plugs to ensure smooth motion between parts. Another option is an oil-impregnated bronze sleeve bearing, a unique solution that releases oil when under pressure, then absorbs it back into tiny pores when the pressure is released.

It should also be mentioned that sleeve bearings are sometimes marketed as bushings, plain bearings, or journal bearings. No matter what name they go by, their purpose and design is the same.

When to Use Sleeve Bearings

Of all bearing types, sleeve bearings are one of the more affordable options. They’re also easier to maintain and install. Choose sleeve bearings for any application in which you want to reduce noise, friction, and vibration in a cost-effective manner.

Sleeve bearings differ from ball bearings in that they have a higher load capacity thanks to their larger contact area. While the force exerted on a ball bearing is applied to the single point where the bearing is in contact with a surface, sleeve bearings are wider, giving them increased shock load resistance and capacity.

Sleeve Bearing Design

There are a few different sleeve bearing designs to choose from, each suited to different applications. The most common types of sleeve bearings are flanged sleeve bearings and cylindrical sleeve bearings. Cylindrical bearings are exactly what they sound like––straight cylinders with the same diameters throughout and flush inside the housing. A flanged sleeve bearing is a cylinder with a flange at the end. This provides a bearing surface for axial loads.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Sleeve Bearings

To learn more about ordering high-quality sleeve bearings from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887. Our sales team offers customers unparalleled support and knowledge, and we’re committed to working with you to find the best products to suit your needs.

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