Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

fitted into grooves turned in the brasses. This method of construction allows an individual ring to be replaced or adjusted if it should get hot. The total area of the rubbing surfaces should be proportioned so that the average load is not more than from 50 to 70 ℔ per sq. in. Arrangements are usually made for cooling a thrust block with water in case of heating. The spindles of drilling machines, boring machine spindles, turbine shafts may be cited as examples of vertical shafts supported on one collar. Experiments on the friction of a collar bearing have been made by the Research Committee of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., 1888).

1911 Britannica - Bearings - Thrust Block.png
Fig. 7.

Roller and Ball Bearings.—If rollers are placed between two surfaces having relative tangential motion the frictional resistance to be overcome is the small resistance to rolling. The rollers move along with a velocity equal to one half the relative velocity of the surfaces. This way of reducing frictional resistance has been applied to all kinds of mechanical contrivances, including bearings for shafts, railway axle boxes, and axle boxes for tramcars. An example of a roller bearing for a line shaft is illustrated in figs. 8 and 9. The main casting, A, and cap, C, bolted together, form a spherical seating for the part of the bearing E corresponding to the brasses in a bearing of the usual type. Between the inside of the casting E and the journal are placed rollers held in position relatively to one another by a “squirrel cage” casting, the section of the bars of which are clearly shown in the half sectional elevation, fig. 9. This squirrel cage ensures that the several axes of the rollers keep parallel to the axis of the journal during the rolling motion. The rollers are made of hard tool steel, and the surfaces of the journal and bearing between which they roll are hardened.

1911 Britannica - Bearings - Roller and Ball.png
Fig. 8.Fig. 9.

Two rings of balls may be used instead of a single ring of rollers, and the kind of ball bearing thus obtained is in general use principally in connexion with bicycles and motor cars (see Bicycle). In ball bearings the load is concentrated at a few points, the points where the balls touch the race, and in the roller bearing at a few lines, the lines of contact between the rollers and the surfaces of the journal and bearing; consequently the load which bearings of this kind carry must not be great enough to cause any indentation at the points or lines of contact. Both rollers and balls, and the paths on which they roll, therefore, are made of hard material; further, balls and rollers must all be exactly the same size in an individual bearing in order to distribute the load between the points or lines of contact as uniformly as possible. The finest workmanship is required therefore to make good roller or good ball bearings.

1911 Britannica - Bearings - High Speeds.png
Fig. 10.

Bearings for High Speeds and Forced Lubrication.—When the shaft turns the metallic surfaces of the brass and the journal are prevented from actual contact by a film of oil which is formed and maintained by the motion of the shaft and which sustains the pressure between the journal and the brass provided the surfaces are accurately formed and the supply of oil is unlimited. This film changes what would otherwise be the friction between metallic surfaces into a viscous resistance within the film itself. When through a limited supply of oil or imperfect lubrication this film is imperfect or fails altogether and allows the journal to make metallic contact with the brass, the friction increases; and it may increase so much that the bearing rapidly becomes hot and may ultimately seize, that is to say the rubbing surfaces may become stuck together. With the object of reducing the friction at the points of metallic contact and of confining the damage of a hot bearing to the easily renewable brass, the latter is partially, sometimes wholly, lined with a soft fusible metal, technically known as white metal, which melts away before actual seizure takes place, and thus saves the journal which is more expensive because it is generally formed on a large and expensive shaft. However perfectly the film fulfils its function, the work required to overcome the viscous resistance of the film during the continuous rotation of the shaft appears as heat, and in consequence the temperature of the bearing gradually rises until the rate at which heat is produced is equal to the rate at which it is radiated from the bearing. Hence in order that a journal may revolve with a minimum resistance and without undue heating two precautions must be taken: (1) means must be taken to ensure that the film of oil is complete and never fails; and (2) arrangements must be made for controlling the temperature should it rise too high. The various lubricating devices already explained supply sufficient oil to form a partial film, since experiments have shown that the friction of bearings lubricated in this way is akin to solid friction, thus indicating at least partial metallic contact. In order to supply enough oil to form and maintain a film with certainty the journal should be run in an oil bath, or oil should be supplied to the bearing under pressure sufficient to force it in between the surfaces against the load. A bearing to which forced lubrication and water cooling are applied is illustrated in fig. 10, which represents one of the bearings of a Westinghouse turbo-alternator installed at the power station of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London at Lots Road, Chelsea. Oil flows under pressure from a tank on the top of a tower along a supply pipe to the oil inlet O, and after passing through the bearing and performing its duty as a film it falls away from each end of the journal into the bottom of the main casting, from which a pipe, E, conveys the oil back to the base of the tank tower where it is cooled and finally pumped back into the tank. There is thus a continuous circulation of oil through the bearing. The space C is for cooling water; in fact the bearing is water jacketed and the jacket is connected to a supply pipe and a drain pipe so that a continuous circulation may be maintained if desired. This bearing is 12 in. in diameter and 48 in. long, and it carries a load of about 12.8 tons. The rise in temperature of the bearing under normal conditions of working without water circulating in the jacket is approximately 38° F. The speed of rotation is such that the surface velocity is about 50 ft. per second.

Forced lubrication in connexion with the bearings of high-speed engines was introduced in 1890 by Messrs Belliss & Morcom, Ltd., under patents taken out in the name of A.C. Pain. It should be understood that providing the film of oil in the bearing of an engine can be properly maintained a double-acting engine can be driven at a high speed without any knocking, and without perceptible wear of the rubbing surfaces. Fig. 11 shows that the general arrangement of the bearings of a Belliss & Morcom engine arranged for forced lubrication. A small force-pump F, driven from the eccentric strap X, delivers oil into the pipe P, along which it passes to A, the centre of the right-hand main bearing. There is a groove turned on the inside of the brass from which a slanting hole leads to B. The oil when it arrives at A thus has two paths open to it, one to the right and left of the groove through the bearing, the other along the slanting hole to B. At B it divides again into two streams, one stream going upwards to the eccentric sheave, and a part continuing up the pipe Q to the eccentric pin. The second stream from B follows the slanting hole in the crank shaft to C, where it is led to the big end journal through the pipe R to the crosshead pin, and through the slanting hole to D, where it finds its way into the left main bearing. The oil forced through each bearing falls away to the right and to the left of the journal and drops into