When it comes to aerospace engineering, it is about building and designing machines and devices which are capable of flying. It is considered to be as one of the newest and latest branch of engineering . It first came into picture during 19th century, and the first experiment was conducted on power lights. With time, the technology progressed and more advanced and sophisticated techniques and mechanisms were introduced. Two separate fields were introduced in this domain, which are as follows
- Aeronautical Engineering: This field is about designing different types of aircrafts such as gliders, jets, fixed winged airplanes, helicopters and autogyros.
- Astronautical Engineering: This particular field of engineering is about planning, designing and development of space craft.
To sum is up, astronotical engineers are primarily involved in the task of designing an aircraft which is capable of flying within the atmosphere of the earth. On the other hand, when it comes to astronautical engineers, their primary job is do plan and designs crafts which are capable of flying outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
What are Aerospace Bearings?
Aerospace bearings are specially designed bearings which are installed in aerospace and aircraft systems; which includes private, military, commercial and different types of space applications. There are different types of materials which are used to make these bearing, which are used in the aerospace industry. Here is a brief insight into some of them
- AMS6491 (M50 Steel)
- AMS6444 (Carbon Chrome Steel)
- AMS5930 (A special type of corrosion resistant material)
- Stainless steel
- Silicon Nitride, also known as ceramic
- 440 C Titanium carbide-coated
In the domain of aerospace engineering, special care and attention is given when it comes to various different aspects like material specification, quality control and check, non-destructive testing and others. The fact that bearings are used to ensure smooth functioning of the machines and different devices, it is made sure that they are made of the best quality materials available. Besides, these bearings are tested on numerous occasions before they are installed in any machine or device.
There are a couple of important aspects which needs to be taken into consideration while designing the bearings which are used in the aerospace industries. They are as follows:
- Standard of materials used in making the bearings
- Design of the bearings
- The type of lubrication which needs to be used in order to keep the bearings active and operative
- It is ensured that these bearings survives non-destructive testing, so that their strength and durability can be judged.
- These bearings go through different types of treatments and surface coatings
- Traceability is another important aspect which needs to be taken into consideration while designing these bearings.
In order to make sure that the optimum level performance can be yielded, it is absolutely essential to make sure that these bearings are made from the best quality steel. As far as the bearings used in jet engines are concerned, they are made from metals. These metals are made by using a special type of vacuum arc remelt, so that the material requirement could be easily met.
In accessory drive shaft bearing and jet engine shaft bearing, a single or two piece machined retainers are being used. Those moulded retainers or pressed steel, which are used in normal bearings are not used in this domain. Apart from these, various other things like special lubricants, greases and resistant oils are used. It needs to be made sure that the lubricant used is of the best of qualities; else the performance of the bearings could be compromised.
What are the main usages?
In order to implement the reliability of the bearings, there are a couple of important aspects which are taken into consideration. Here are some of them
- Magnetic Particle Test of steel balls, races and different types of rollers’
- Acid Etch Test of steel balls, rollers and races
- Eddy Current Test of steel balls, rollers and races
- Dynamic Balance Adjustment and Silver Plate of machined cages
- Fiber Flow Formation of races
- Fluorescent Penetrant Test of machined cages
Here are some of the uses of the bearings used in aerospace engineering
- They help to decrease in the rate of consumption of fuel
- These bearings ensure that every single machine and device yields improved conditions even under the most adverse of conditions
- They have proven to be very useful when it comes to reducing the cost of maintenance
- The offer highly optimized and advanced mechatronic solutions
These are some of the main uses of the bearings used in the aerospace industry.
What are the Different Common Types of Bearing to be used in the Aerospace Industry?
By now, you already have some idea about the roles and importance of bearings in aerospace industry. However, it is also important to know about the different types of bearing which are used and their functions. In the following section, you will be offered a brief insight into some of the bearings to be used in this industry. Besides, you would also be offered some light on how these bearings are used.
- Journal Bearing: Also known as sliding bearing or plain bearing; it is the simplest types of bearings to be used. It consists of a bearing surface and has no rolling element. As a result, the journal slides over the surface of the bearing.
- Roller Bearing: Also known as rolling-element bearing, these are quite similar to that of ball bearings and are designed for the purpose of carrying load by minimizing fiction. However, cylinder rolling elements are used here, instead of balls, so that separation could be maintained between the bearing’s moving parts.
- Ball Bearing: This is a type of bearing, where balls are used for maintaining the distance between the races of the bearing. One of the functions of ball bearings is to support axial and radial load, and also to reduce rotational friction.
- Collar Bearing: It is nothing but a thrust bearing which comes with faces which are capable of resisting axial pressure of multiple collars on the rotating shat. These bearings are very popular, when it comes to withstanding the axial loads.
Apart from these, there are different other types of bearings which are used in the aerospace sector. Here is a list for you
- Air Bearings
- Bearing Components
- Ball Bearing Splines
- Ceramic Bearings
- Carbon Bearing
- Engine Bearing
- Cylindrical Bearings
- Friction Bearings
- Flexural Pivot Bearings
- Gas Bearings
- High Temperature Bearings
- Graphite Bearings
- Jewel Bearings
- Linear Bearings
- Metallic Bearings
- Magnetic Bearings
- Oil less Bearings
- Needle Bearings
- Plastic Bearings
- Precision Bearings
- Rod End Bearings
- Radial Bearings
- Self-Aligning Bearings
- Sleeve Bearings
- Self-Lubricated Bearings
- Slotted Entry Bearings
- Spherical Bearings
- Special Bearings
- Thrust Bearings
- Tapered Bearings
- Track Roller Bearings.
These are the different types of bearings which are used in the aerospace industry, all over the world. From the making of a spacecraft to manufacturing different parts and devices, these bearing play a very important role. The fact that so many different types of them are uses, gives a clear idea about the diverse nature of mechanism, that goes into the process of manufacturing in the aerospace industry.
Few of the Top Bearing Suppliers to the Aerospace Industry
It needs to be made sure of, that every single bearing to be used is of the best quality. This is one of the reasons, as to why the aerospace companies from all over the world are very selective, when it comes to choosing their suppliers. Here are some of the top bearing suppliers in the world, who are trusted upon by the aerospace industry
- NTN-SNR Roulements Argonany
- SKF Group
- Rexnord Industries, LLC
- Aurora BearingCompany
- Kamatics Corporation
- IMP GmbH & Co. KG
- Hutchinson Aerospace
- NMB Minebea UK Ltd
- Accurate Bushing Co. Inc
- New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc
- LORD Corporation USA
- Minebea Mitsumi Co, Ltd
Apart from these, there are many other bearing suppliers who cater to the needs and requirements of the aerospace companies from all over the world. However, talking if the top players, these are some of the names, which would appear, right the top of the list.
Like any other industries, in aerospace sector, an array of different types of devices and equipment are used. Besides, there are tons of different types of parts which also plays an important role in making of the air craft, space crafts, and other vehicles. In order to make sure that these parts, peripherals and different devices can operate smoothly, without causing excessive fiction, the use of bearings are absolutely pivotal. As mentioned, there are different types of these bearings which are used and every single one of them have specific use. If you are looking for more details on the types and use of bearings in the aerospace industry, run a search over the internet. You will be overloaded with information.