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What Are Pillow Block Bushings?

  • October 13, 2020
Pillow block bearing by Monroe Engineering

Bearings are used to help machines and objects rotate. They typically consist of housing unit with a hole that supports a machine’s or object’s shaft. The shaft is placed in the bearing’s hole where it’s able to easily rotate. In turn, they reduce wear and tear on the connected machines and objects. While all bearings consist of a housing unit that supports a machine’s or object’s shaft, there are different types of them, including pillow block bearings.

Overview of Pillow Block Bearings

Also known as a plummer bock, a pillow block bearing consists of a mountable housing unit with a bearing in the middle. The housing unit extends past the bearing on both sides. On these ends of the housing unit are small holes that support the use of a fastener. Pillow block bearings are installed on a surface by driving a fastener through these small holes.

Pillow blocks work in the same way as most other bearings. The shaft of a machine or object can be inserted into a pillow block bearing to improve rotational movement. The large middle hole of a pillow block bearing can easily rotate because it’s surrounding by a ball and cage.

Parts of a Pillow Block Bearing

Pillow block bearings contain several parts. They have a long housing housing unit, which is usually made of a strong metal like stainless steel or cast iron. In the middle of a pillow block bearing is the main hole that supports a machine’s or object’s shaft. This hole is surrounded by many small metal balls in a ring-shaped component known as a ball and cage.

Benefits of Pillow Block Bearing

Many manufacturing companies use pillow block bearings to extend the life of their machines. They can reduce friction created when a machine’s parts rotate. Bearings also reduce the vibrations created by a machine’s rotating parts. With less friction and vibrations, bearings extend the life of machines.

While the ball and cage itself can minimize friction, pillow block bearings also support the use of oil rings. An oil ring is a rotating rubber ring that picks up oil and applies it to the shaft. Shafts can wear down over time. An oil ring protects shafts from premature wear and tear by ensuring they are properly lubricates.

Pillow block bearings, of course, are easy to install. They can be mounted to most stable sufraces using a supported type of fastener. Fasteners are driven through the pillow block bearing’s sides and into the surface.

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