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2 min read

5 Different Types of Plane Bearings (And Common Uses)

By Dave Biering on December 1, 2015

5 Different Types of Plane Bearings

I’ve just returned from a great week of customer visits, and had some interesting conversations along the way. At one site, I was asked about the different types of plane bearings and their common uses. Plane bearings offer a simple design, yet a complex design envelope. They are a great choice for industrial applications where high-load, long-life and low-maintenance are critical to performance.

Here’s a quick recap of the primary plane bearings and common uses:

Although simple in design, plane bearings (not to be confused with plain bearings), can be customized to deliver enhanced properties. Need uncommon strength or extreme durability? A reinforced liner can be easily added. Want to match the surface finish of other hardware? A close match can be achieved via machining. See the Rulon plane bearing selector guide.

5 Types of Plane Bearings:

  1. Sleeve bearings- Sleeve bearings are the most-common type of plane bearing, and support linear, oscillating or rotating shafts. They function via a sliding action. 
  2. Flange bearings- Flange bearings support a shaft that runs perpendicular to a bearing’s mounting surface. The flange (or rim) of the bearing can also be used as a locating mechanism to hold a sleeve bearing in place. Flange bearings reduce friction between surfaces in rotary and linear movements.
  3. Mounted bearings - To achieve an ideal fit, mounted bearings must be designed exactly to spec. Mounted bearings that fit too loosely can creep or slip on a shaft. Or if the press fit is too tight, free movement can be impeded. To eliminate this concern, plastic plane mounted bearings are available in pillow-block or flange housings, in forms ranging from 2-4 holes. 
  4. Thrust bearings - These plane bearings are designed with a simple washer to prevent metal-to-metal contact in a thrust load application. Plastic thrust bearings are thin, easy to install and self-lubricating to reduce maintenance costs.
  5. Spherical bearings - Spherical bearings rotate from two directions to compensate for any shaft misalignment. They are typically called on to support a rotating shaft that calls for both rotational and angular movement.

Where will you find plane bearings? They have a wide application range covering everything from hygienic FDA/USDA/3A/NSF environments to dirty, wet environments. 

Typical industries include:

  • Automotive 
  • Agriculture 
  • Off-road/Construction
  • Marine
  • Food Processing & packaging

Want to explore design options for plane bearings? Check out Bearing Design: A Guide to Form, Function and Selection, or watch the highlight video (emdedded below) for a quick review.

Topics: Plane Bearings
1 min read

4 Factors that Impact Plane Bearings and P, V and PV (WATCH)

By Dave Biering on June 23, 2015

4 Factors that Impact Plane Bearings and P, V and PV

P, V and PV – how do they impact a plane bearing system? Let’s take a quick review of this important connection. Plane bearings are basically rolling element bearings in their simplest form; they provide good value, easy installation and serve a multitude of industries. And plastic plane bearings have the advantage of a self-lubricating design to reduce manual greasing costs. 

When choosing the right plane bearing for your application, we, of course, look at bearing load (P), relative velocity (V), temperature variations and environmental considerations. But there are 4 other factors that are critical to help determine a material’s ability to handle P, V and PV:

Since pressure (P) and velocity (V) do not occur independently, they should always be considered in tandem. After all, it is the combination of load and speed that generates frictional heat, and each material has a maximum PV rating. But we also must consider these key factors to determine the performance and longevity of a material as a plane bearing:

  • Ambient temperature - the higher the ambient temperature, the greater the reduction in capacity measurements.
  • Intermittent operation – consider that oscillating and reciprocating motion allows for higher P, V, and PV values.
  • Shaft materials – materials that are good thermal conductors allow for increased values.
  • Surface finish - a surface finish that is too smooth will generate higher friction (and more heat), which will lower values.

Got all that? For a quick review of the plane bearing and P,V, PV connection, watch this video demo (below). Or fill out a Plane Bearing Design Worksheet for a custom quote!

Topics: Plane Bearings
1 min read

What is a Plane Bearing? Or is it a Plain Bearing?

By Dave Biering on March 26, 2015

What is a Plane Bearing? Or is it a Plain Bearing? First let’s settle this important question, is it a “plane” bearing or a “plain” bearing? And survey says? Both spellings are correct, although this bearing supplier prefers plane bearing. 

Now that we have that settled, the question then becomes, what is a plane bearing exactly? We have the answer to that question, too!

A plane bearing is really a bearing in its simplest form; it is any non-rolling element bearing that is applied where two surfaces rub together. Common forms are flange or sleeve bearings, slide plates or friction bearings. Some applications call for a reinforced plane bearing with unique liners, while others demand a particular material surface finish as demonstrated in this video

Plane bearings are comprised of materials ranging from composites, bronze, and acetals to carbon alloy. Ultimately to get the right fit for your plane bearing application, consider:

  • Bearing load
  • Relative velocity
  • Operating temperature variations
  • Environmental conditions
  • Machinability
  • Cost

For more details, check out our popular Rulon plane bearings which excel in high-temperature, non-lubricated applications, or Ask an Expert for a recommendation.

Topics: Plane Bearings