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Bearing Friction

Bearing Friction

2020-04-09

Reducing friction in bearings is often important for efficiency, to reduce wear and to facilitate extended use at high speeds and to avoid overheating and premature failure of the bearing. Essentially, a bearing can reduce friction by virtue of its shape, by its material, or by introducing and containing a fluid between surfaces or by separating the surfaces with an electromagnetic field.

By shape, gains advantage usually by using spheres or rollers, or by forming flexure bearings.

By material, exploits the nature of the bearing material used. (An example would be using plastics that have low surface friction.)

By fluid, exploits the low viscosity of a layer of fluid, such as a lubricant or as a pressurized medium to keep the two solid parts from touching, or by reducing the normal force between them.

By fields, exploits electromagnetic fields, such as magnetic fields, to keep solid parts from touching.

Air pressure exploits air pressure to keep solid parts from touching.

Combinations of these can even be employed within the same bearing. An example of this is where the cage is made of plastic, and it separates the rollers/balls, which reduce friction by their shape and finish.

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