Why Is Journal Bearing Design Important?

Journal bearing design can prove to be vital to the oil distribution process in a bearing. In situations in which cooling is required or contaminants need to be flushed out from the bearing, the journal bearing utilizes lubricants. The design of the bearing is vital for ensuring an effective process. Instead of greasing the part, a high speed journal bearing design relies on oil lubrication. An oil ring, collar, or a wick is typically used for supplying the oil to the bearing through the use of a pressurized system.

Grooves are typically used in the bearing’s shell in order to ensure that the oil is able to be distributed throughout the bearing’s entire surface. Proper lubrication is absolutely vital for reducing the need for journal bearing replacement.

Viscosity grade requirements are based on the oil temperature, load, and RPM of the bearing. The revolutions per minute of the shaft are most often used for measuring the speed of the bearing.

A variety of factors will often affect journal bearing design.  Among these factors is compatibility, which is vital for ensuring that in the event that metal on metal friction between the journal and the bearing takes place, the two materials do not join together physically. As a result, it is possible for the lubrication system that is being utilized to withstand high seizure resistance and for the bearings to work as they are intended.

Fatigue strength is another important factor to be considered or else there is a risk of bearings becoming cracked. In the event that fatigue strength is exceeded as a result of the bearing load, the material of the bearing will often form cracks. This can often extend to the back of the bearing.

Other important factors to consider include the choice of the bearing material itself. In particular, it is vital to ensure that the material selected is capable of resisting a chemical attack as a result of corrosion resistance.

Finally, it is important to consider the ability of the bearing material to trap foreign particles, such as debris, dust, and dirt. This is a factor referred to as embeddability.