Across most industries, machinery relies on the use of rotating shafts for rotary motion of certain components. In aviation, this is commonplace in parts like the engine, allowing for controlled movement. That being said, rotary shafts often require additional support for stability, so bearings are used to constrain motion and reduce friction without impeding the proper motions of shaft mechanisms. In particular, such situations call for the employment of a pillow block bearing, those of which are bearings specifically fabricated to support rotary shafts. With a unique three-part design, they are helpful part types for various applications. For your better knowledge, we will further explore the working principles of pillow block bearings in the following blog.
As with any bearing, pillow block bearings have a hole intended for supporting a cylindrical shaft. Typically around 0.025 mm larger than a shaft to allow for unimpeded rotational motion, a bearing’s hole is designed to surround the shaft. Moreover, the inner sleeve of the bearing is often lubricated with oil to allow for rotary motion in tandem with the shaft. This allows for the right amount of support to constrain unnecessary movement while also reducing friction. Meanwhile, the outer sleeve of the bearing is positioned stationary around the inner sleeve, situated inside the larger pillow block bearing housing.
The pillow block, also known as the mounting frame, is the housing mechanism of pillow block bearings, and it is used to contain the bearing and hold the entire part in place. The pillow block is a heavy foundation that extends on either side of the bearing to form flat feet with pre-drilled holes. These holes are intended for use with a fastener like a bolt to secure the pillow block bearing down and around the shaft. Typically, there are two to four of these holes, with larger pillow block bearings requiring stronger holds. The bolts or other fasteners are inserted through these holes with an underlying object to secure their hold.
Given the additional support pillow block bearings provide, they are very popular in applications where rotary shafts are used, but it is important not to confuse such bearings with plummer block bearings. Unlike pillow block bearings, plummer block bearings are not bearings at all; instead, they are a foundation with an empty housing designed to accommodate a bearing. Without a built-in bearing, plummer block bearings should be used for applications where the user has a separate bearing to position within the foundation. With a relatively simple design and great strength and support, pillow block bearings are a great choice for all of your aircraft engines and other applications. As such, when you are in the market for reliable pillow block bearings, be sure to only source from accredited distributors like Aerospace Simplified.
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