Types of Bearings for Your Pumps

Workers inspecting the pumps

Most residential and industrial processes will need a pump in various appliances. There are different types of pumps used in both instances. Booster, piston, drum, and circulator pumps are the common types of centrifugal pumps. These are pumps that have one or more impellers and are customarily driven using electric motors. They will suffice for applications that need high flow rates and handle low-viscosity liquids.

Positive displacement pumps are your other option. These have no impellers but use reciprocating or rotating components for the conveyance of liquids through the pump. The piston pump is the most common positive displacement pump type. The diaphragm, gear, peristaltic, plunger, and vane pumps are the other positive displacement pump varieties. The bearing is one of the most critical parts of your pump, regardless of its kind. It reduces the friction on your pump’s moving parts and will support the smooth rotation of your shaft. Here are the bearing types used for all kinds of pumps:

Roller Bearings

These are meant to support heavy loads. The first roller used in roller bearing is cylindrical. It is designed to distribute the weight in your pump over a large surface area, enabling it to handle considerable pressure. The structure of roller bearings, however, allows it to handle radial loads rather than thrust loads. Some roller bearings are designed to handle thrust loads.

Ball Bearings

These are the most common bearing option for pumps. The most prevalent one used is a single-row, deep-groove one since it handles both radial and thrust loads. It, however, requires precise alignments between the pump’s housing and shaft to guarantee its optimal operation and minimal damage to your pump. Angular contact ball bearings are also conventional and generally used for heavy thrust loads. Ball bearings have a simple design, are easy to maintain, and are suited for high-speed pump applications.

Babbitt Bearings

Worker inspecting the pumpThese are a variant of sleeve bearings that are coated using Babbitt, a lead or tin-based alloy. Babbitt bearings are often used in pumps, fans, generators, and motors and come in different features and designs. Some of the elements that set different kinds of Babbitt bearings apart include their load, speed, shaft speed, and the overall machine capacity.

Pivot Shoe Bearings

These are also called tilt shoe bearings and are suited for axial loads. The bearings are usually used on high-powered pumps as their thrust bearing. You should always have pressurized lubrication for your pivot shoe bearing so that it is not damaged. Moreover, you should select the right bearing type for your pump’s speed and material.

The bearings on your pump are generally out of view, and it is easy to disregard them and base your choice on the exterior look of the pump. You should, however, pay close attention to the bearing options for your pump to guarantee its overall longevity and optimal operation. While you might not be as conversant with what works best for your application, getting your pump from a manufacturer that focuses on innovation will help you get the best one.

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