Bushings offer a simple and effective way to dampen vibrations. As shown in the adjacent photo, they consist of a cylindrical sleeve with an exterior of rubber or rubber-like padding. You can place a part like a shaft or control rod in a bushing. Even if the shaft or control rod moves aggressively, the bushing will dampen its vibrations. Below are five things you didn’t know about bushings and how they work.
#1) Also Known as Vibration Isolators
Bushings are also known as vibration isolators. This is a direct reference to their ability to isolate the parts with which they are used. When two parts are connected together and one of them vibrates, the vibrations will typically travel to the other part. Bushings prevent this from happening. Bushings will isolate moving parts and, therefore, dampen vibrations.
While there are different types of bushings, nearly all of them are insulated. They don’t consist of plain metal sleeves. Instead, bushings consist of an insulated sleeve. The insulation material is found in a ring around the bushing. With its soft properties, it’s able to dampen vibrations. Vibrations will weaken upon reaching the insulation material, resulting in quieter machinery operation.
Common insulation materials used in bushings include the following:
#3) Differs From Plain Bearings
They may share some similarities, but bushings aren’t the same as plain bearings. Plain bearings are simply designed to facilitate the movement between two connected parts. Bearings, on the other hand, are designed to facilitate the movement between two connected parts while also dampening vibrations. the key difference is that bushings dampen vibrations, whereas plain bearings do not.
#4) Pioneered By Walter Chrysler
Some of the earliest bushings were invented by Walter Chrysler. Chrysler is best known for founding the automotive company of his namesake. Chrysler discovered that by adding bushings to motors, vibrations were reduced. Today, many cars, trucks and other automobiles feature bushings for their respective motor mounts.
You might be surprised to learn that some bushings are self-lubricating. They are designed with lubricating compounds, such as oil, to minimize friction. Self-lubricating bushings feature a porous sleeve. Over time, this sleeve will release small amounts of the stored lubricating compound.
Bushings may look like ordinary sleeves, but they are much more than that. They are vibration isolators that dampen vibrations while allowing the parts with which they are used to move.