Choosing the right bearing is essential to not only reducing operational costs but also ensuring the longevity of equipment. A fluid film bearing is a special type of bearing that allows the equipment load to be carried based on a layer of water, oil, or some other type of liquid. This type of bearing is often a popular choice for machines in which a heavy-duty bearing is required due to a long lifespan of the relevant equipment as well as a high load carrying capacity.
Fluid film bearings may also prove to be helpful in situations in which large machinery may produce intensive vibrations. Such vibrations can ultimately prove to be quite destructive to the equipment. In some instances, these types of vibrations can even result in shafts breaking, generators failing, or compressors shutting down. Over an extended period of time, excessive amounts of vibration on a piece of machinery can result in premature failure of the equipment, resulting in increased costs in order for the machinery to be replaced.
In choosing fluid film bearings, it is important to understand that there are actually many different types of fluid bearings available. The options available include Babbitt bearings. Babbitt bearings take their name from the fact that they are produced from a white metal alloy that was originally patented in 1830 by Isaac Babbitt. The primary benefit of a Babbitt bearing is that it provides a superior wetting surface that can help to decrease vibration and friction.
Along with deciding whether a Babbitt bearing is the right choice for your needs, it is also important to give consideration to the choice of material that will be used for backing the bearing. Options include bronze, cast iron, and steel. While a Babbitt bearing is relatively soft on its own, these materials can be used to provide reinforcement for the bearing. With proper reinforcement, it is possible for a Babbitt bearing to handle loads that exceed 1,000 psi.
The right fluid film bearing can provide a number of benefits while serving a variety of industries, including steel mills, construction, aerospace, nuclear, and marine industries.