A Guide to Pillow Block Bearings

A bearing is a device used to help machines and objects rotate. Bearings commonly consist of a housing unit with a hole that supports the shaft of a machine or object. The shaft is placed in the bearing’s hole where it can easily rotate. Consequently, this reduces wear and tear on the connected machines and objects. While bearings of all types consist of a housing unit that supports a machine or object’s shaft, there is a wide range of bearing types. In this blog, we will discuss one such type: the pillow block bearing.

Overview of Pillow Block Bearings

A pillow block bearing, sometimes called a plummer block, consists of a mountable housing unit with a bearing in the middle. This housing unit extends beyond the bearing on both sides. On the housing’s ends are small holes used to support the use of a fastener. Pillow block bearings are installed on a surface by driving a fastener through these small holes. The function of pillow block bearings is similar to that of most other bearings. The shaft of a machine or object can be inserted into a pillow block bearing to improve rotational movement, and the large middle hole of a pillow block bearing can easily rotate because it is surrounded by a ball and cage.

Parts of a Pillow Block Bearing

There are several parts of a pillow block bearing. They feature a long housing unit, typically made from a very strong material like stainless steel or cast iron. In the middle of the pillow block bearing is the main hole, which supports the shaft of the machine or object it is being used with. This hole is surrounded by myriad small metal balls within a ring-shaped component known as the ball and cage.

Benefits of Pillow Block Bearings

Pillow block bearings offer many advantages. They are used by many manufacturing companies to extend the service lives of their machinery, as they can reduce friction caused by the rotation of a machine’s parts. By minimizing friction and vibration, bearings can significantly extend a machine’s service life. While the ball and cage itself can minimize friction, pillow block bearings also support the use of oil rings. An oil ring is a rotating rubber ring that collects oil and applies it to the shaft. Shafts wear down over time, and the use of an oil ring protects them from premature wear and tear by keeping them properly lubricated. The final benefit of pillow block bearings is that they are easy to install. They can be mounted to nearly all stable surfaces with a supported type of fastener. Fasteners are driven through the sides of the pillow block bearing and into the surface.

As with any other type of bearing, when determining if a pillow block bearing is suited to your end use, it is important to understand the load capacity and speed it will be used in. understanding these will ensure your pillow block bearing is the right device for the application. Once you determine this, the next step is to get your pillow block bearings and fasteners from a trusted source.

For all types of fasteners and much more, look no further than Aerospace Sphere. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, electronics, industrial, and IT hardware markets. Our account managers are 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@aerospacesphere.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780. Let us show you why we consider ourselves the future of purchasing.


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July 29, 2021

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