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more than one brass, and the construction is modified accordingly. Figs. 4 and 5 show an axle box used for goods wagons on the Great Eastern railway, and they also illustrate the method of pad lubrication in general use for this kind of bearing. The main casting, A, is now uppermost, and is designed so that the upper part supports and constrains the spring buckle through which the load W is transmitted to the bearing, and the lower part inside is arranged to support the brass, B. The brass is jointed freely with the main casting by means of a hemispherical hump resting in a corresponding recess in the casting. What may be called the cap, C, forms the lower part of the axle box, but instead of supporting a second brass it is formed into an oil reservoir in which is arranged a pad of cotton wick woven on a tin frame. The upper part of the pad is formed into a kind of brush, shaped to fit the underside of the journal, whilst the lower part consists of streamers of wick resting in the oil. The oil is fed to the brush by the capillary action of the streamers. The reservoirs are filled with oil through the apertures P and O. The bottom cap is held in position by the T-headed bolts Q1 and Q2 (fig. 5). By slackening the nuts and turning the T-heads fair with the slots in the cap, the cap comes right away and the axle may be examined. A leather ring L is fitted as shown to prevent dust from entering the axle box.

1911 Britannica - Bearings - axle box1.png
Fig. 4.

1911 Britannica - Bearings - axle box2.png
Fig. 5.

1911 Britannica - Bearings - diametral groove.png
Fig. 6.

Footsteps.—A bearing arranged to support the lower end of a vertical shaft is called a footstep, sometimes a pivot bearing. A simple form of footstep is shown in fig 6. A casting A, designed so that it can be conveniently bolted to a foundation block, cross beam, or bracket is bored out and fitted with a brass B, which is turned inside to carry the end of the shaft S. The whole vertical load on the shaft is carried by the footstep, so that it is important to arrange efficient lubricating apparatus. Results of experiments made on a footstep, reported in Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., 1891, show that if a diametral groove be cut in the brass, as indicated at g (fig 6), and if the oil is led to the centre of this groove by a channel c communicating with the exterior, the rotation of the shaft draws in a plentiful supply of oil which radiates from the centre and makes its way vertically between the shaft and the brass and finally overflows at the top of the brass. The overflowing oil may be led away and may be re-introduced into the footsteps at c. The rotation of the shaft thus causes a continuous circulation of oil through the footstep. One experiment from the report mentioned above may be quoted. A 3-in. shaft, revolving 128 times per minute and supported on a manganese bronze bearing lubricated in the way explained above sustained increasing loads until, at a load of 300 pounds per square inch of the area of the end of the shaft, it seized. The mechanical details of a footstep may be varied for purposes of adjustment in a variety of ways similarly to the variations of a common bearing already explained.

Thrust Block Bearing.—In cases where a bearing is required to resist a longitudinal movement of the shaft through it, as for example in the case of the propeller shaft of a marine engine or a vertical shaft supporting a heavy load not carried on a footstep, the shaft is provided with one or more collars which are grooved with corresponding recesses in the brasses of the bearing. A general sketch of a thrust block for a propeller shaft is shown in fig. 7. There are seven collars turned on the shaft and into the circumferential grooves between them fit corresponding circumferential projections on the brasses, these projections being formed in the case illustrated by means of half rings which are