High- and Low-Speed Bearings
Gearbox bearing design is typically driven by shaft speed. Low-speed shafts normally use fixed profile journal bearings, often with simple cylindrical bores. High-speed shafts have historically used multi-lobe fixed profile bearings, but are increasingly using tilting pad journal bearings.
High-speed applications can require special material combinations and may utilize ‘Directed Lubrication’ to reduce pad surface temperature and improve efficiency.
On fixed profile (sleeve) bearings, Waukesha Bearings engineers the bore profile for stability, and further optimizes performance through bearing material selection and lubrication. Tilt pad bearings can provide even greater stability and give our bearing engineers additional mechanisms for optimization.
Waukesha Bearings offers fixed profile thrust bearings for lightly loaded applications and advanced tilting pad solutions for more demanding operating conditions. Tilt pad designs may be non-equalizing or self-equalizing with flooded or ‘Directed’ lubrication to support the application’s unique requirements.
Tilt Pad Bearing in the Space of a Sleeve Bearing
Flexure Pivot tilt pad journal bearings offer the performance of a tilt pad bearing with the simplicity of a sleeve bearing. Available with a low-profile, Flexure Pivot bearings can sometimes replace traditional sleeve bearings without housing modifications.
Extend Performance with Polymer Bearings
Engineered polymers combine higher strength at elevated temperatures and higher fatigue strength than babbitt with comparable embedability and conformability. The result is a bearing surface that allows for operation with thinner films, providing high load capacity, reduced power loss and operation with low-viscosity lubricants.
Fluid Film Bearings vs. Rolling Element Bearings
A key difference between rolling element and fluid film bearings is expected bearing life. Rolling element bearings typically have a predictable life based on the operating conditions (the calculated L10 life). Fluid film bearings, when properly designed and maintained, can operate for decades.