Aerospace Bearings - Characteristics and Applications

Although bearings are mechanically simple parts, they play a very important role in the aerospace industry. They are found throughout aircraft in components such as wings, flight controls, cockpit controls, auxiliary power units, landing gear, door systems, and aircraft interiors. Besides acting as a fastener, when bearings are applied properly they can increase fuel efficiency, extend maintenance intervals, and lower carbon emissions.

Two of the most commonly found bearings in the aerospace industry are Metal-Polymer Plain bearings and Fiber-Reinforced Composite (FRC) bearings. Metal-polymer bearings are made of an outer metal backing and have a permeable bronze interior coated by a polymer-resin lining. Each component of these bearings contributes to the piece’s function in one way or another. The polymer liner acts as a lubricant, decreasing friction and wear, the inner structure holds the liner in place while helping transfer load and heat, and the metal backing supports the bearing and provides mechanical strength.

These bearings come in two types; self lubricating and pre-lubricated. Self-lubricating bearings are constructed with a smooth liner that transfers to the mating surface during operation, resulting in the formation of a lubricant film. This greatly decreases wear and increases bearing performance at a range of loads, speeds, temperatures and other conditions. Pre-lubricated bearings can be made from a wide array of materials and include pockets filled with grease to ease the operating process.

The other commonly-used bearing type is the Fiber-Reinforced Composite, or FRC bearings. FRC bearings feature a self-lubricating liner backed by tough fiberglass. Their liners can be made from either fiber or tape, ensuring they can be used in a variety of applications. A fiber liner provides higher abrasion resistance and improved handling of shocks and misalignment. Tape liners provide higher speed capabilities and increased machinability. Fiber-reinforced composites are also used to manufacture washers, plates, and other pieces of machinery.

From landing gear struts to ground support, and even NASA’s Curiosity Rover, bearings are found in abundance throughout the aerospace industry. At Parts Needed Yesterday, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the bearings for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@partsneededyesterday.com or call us at 1-434-321-4470.



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