What You Should Consider When Choosing a Bushing

Are you currently trying to find the right bushings for a particular application? As a type of hardware that is frequently used in machinery, there are a wide range of bushings to choose from. Each option is built to help reduce noise and vibration, but many have unique features or requirements that can help you decide which is the correct fit. Aside from choosing the correct dimensions, it is also important to consider how lubrication, material, style, alignment capabilities, and line reaming requirements may affect your operations. While most bushings look fairly similar, with a cylindrically-shaped sleeve incorporating a “wall”, they are available in an array of variations. In this blog, we will outline several aspects you should take into account when choosing the right bushing for your machinery.

Lubrication Requirements

Depending on where a bushing is employed and the materials it is made up of, some bushings require lubrication, while others do not. For those that do, ample lubrication ensures that they are better protected against friction. This is especially important as a variety of bushings are used alongside moving parts which produce a lot of friction with surrounding components. Keep in mind that some bearings require manual lubrication, meaning that it must be directly applied, whereas others are self-lubricating so that they are able to distribute the lubricant during operation. In some assemblies you may want to avoid certain forms of lubrication or minimize your need overall, so it can be helpful to consider what kind of lubrication a particular bushing of interest may require.

Wall Material

Bushing walls are the protective parts of a bushing that blanket the metal sleeve with an elastic material. The use of an elastic material for the wall allows bushings to absorb imposed vibrations more easily than a rigid material would. With that said, they are often made of neoprene, rubber, or polyurethane. Generally, rubber is known for its flexibility, resistance, and strength, while neoprene is especially notable for its weather and flame resistance. In particular, neoprene can be used as a general-purpose rubber, but its exceptional fire retardancy and resistance to weathering often place this synthetic rubber in harsher working environments. Polyurethane is also a synthetic rubber, and because it is made by mixing different chemical compounds, it is available in an array of types that have a range of characteristics. This means that you can find polyurethane in a spectrum of hardness, ranging from soft to extremely hard. It can also be found with varying levels of resistance to heat and oil, grease, or chemicals.

Standard Versus Pillow Block Style

Apart from there being a number of different wall materials to choose from, bushings are also available in either standard or pillow block styles. The standard variety has a traditional cylindrical shape, while pillow block styles have a similar shape with the addition of a mounting frame. This makes standard bushings simpler to install, while pillow block varieties provide additional support for a strong hold. In general, standard bushings are placed on a rod, whereas pillow block bushings can be installed by driving a fastener through each of the two holes on one side.

Alignment Capabilities

Serving to connect parts that are aligned with each other, Bearing bushings are often equipped with certain alignment capabilities. In particular, self-aligning bushings can rotate in the pitch and yaw directions, allowing them to compensate for misalignment or deflection in the shaft where they are installed. This means that, whereas some bushings will simply stay in one place, others can rotate to compensate for slight variations from the standard positioning of the parts they are employed in.

Line Reaming Requirements

Lastly, you may want to consider the line reaming requirements of your assembly before choosing your bushing(s). Line reaming is essentially the alignment of a bushing and its parts before use. Some bushings will require line reaming, while others are self-aligning or do not require highly specific placement. Depending on the assembly in question, there may be more or less tolerance for the possibility of misalignment.


As bushings offer a great way of tackling the noise and vibration caused by moving parts, they are often found in automobiles, conveyor belts, construction equipment, and more, where they lessen the friction caused by the continuous movement in machinery. When you are in the market for bushings compatible with your assembly, it can be helpful to get in contact with a representative who can find the right fit for your requirements. At Aerospace Simplified, we provide an efficient resource for all our customers to find the parts they need, whether they have a specific product in mind or more general part requirements. Working with an array of top manufacturers like Curtiss-Wright Corp, Parker, Ingersoll Rand Co., and others, we are well-equipped with a diverse range of aviation-grade components. Kick off the procurement process with us today to learn more about the resources we offer!


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