Noisy slide bearing? This is not an oxymoron!

Slide bearings are generally characterized by their simple structure, small operating vibrations and low noise levels. However, current technical practice shows us that assumptions regarding low operating vibrations and noise are not always correct.

That is why researchers at the Brno University of Technology undertook to develop a testing device and methodology which would make it possible to prevent undesirable phenomena in the application of slide bearings as early as in the construction phase.

In the construction phase it is often more convenient to use a slide bearing instead of one with rolling elements. Slide bearings are usually smaller, simpler, with a more precise operation without vibration, and therefore quieter. However, slide bearings are more sensitive to the operating conditions in which they work. Problems occur particularly in slide bearings with a relatively small static load or a load that varies over time, low operating revolutions and when working in the boundary lubrication regime. In such bearings, contact between sliding surfaces during operation are inevitable. The influence of external effects (vibrations of machinery, operating revolutions of machinery) may cause a significant increase in undesirable contact between the slide surfaces of bearings and thus a significant increase in the vibrations and noise of bearings, and consequently the whole piece of machinery.

Academic researchers from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Brno University of Technology have come up with a new method for testing slide bearings and analysing the measured data. The purpose of the invention is to measure the static and dynamic parameters of a slide bearing in a laboratory simulation of real operating conditions. Subsequently, a unique method for evaluating the measured data is applied, which enables the rate of instability of the slide bearing operation to be described. In conclusion, based on the analysis results, the causes of bearing instability can be assessed, as can the likelihood of a risk of increased operating vibrations and noise of the tested bearing.

In cooperation with the BUT Technology Transfer Office this new testing method has been granted a patent and protection as a utility model. Details are available at the website of the Industrial Property Office.

Source of photo: author

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