Expansion bearings are not required for conveyor pulleys. However, using expansion bearings is also considered to be a best practice. Expansion bearings provide many advantages, including offering axial adjustment of the bearing in the housing, which allows for shaft expansion.
The Advantages of an Expansion Bearing
Using an expansion bearing provides a number of benefits, including allowing for shaft expansion due to variations in temperature and exposure to heat produced by the application that you are using the expansion bearing with.
Having the right type of bearing in your equipment can also help reduce downtime. Quite often, downtime is blamed on inadequate maintenance or poor maintenance practices. However, you may also not have the right components in the first place, which also interferes with the efficiency and operational capacity of your equipment. The bearing selection that you use for your conveyor can largely influence the amount of downtime that your system requires.
Types of Bearings
There are generally two standard types of bearings that you can use, which are:
Expansion bearings, which are also called floated bearings, are designed for radial loads. They have a plain race roller track on the outside. Their inner race is affixed to the shaft. This causes the inner race to move on the axis when there is expansion or contraction within the system. The expansion bearing contains little or no resistance with axial movement when the rollers move along the outer race.
Non-expansion bearings are also used in conveyor pulleys. However, they have a different composition. Non-expansion bearings, which are also called fixed-type bearings, have shoulders that are integral with the outer roller track. Their inner race assembly may also have integral shoulders. Alternatively, it may have shoulders that are formed from hardened lips located on the clamping rings. Non-expansion bearings are used for axial and radial loading. Their inner race haves are aligned through fitted clamping rings.
Considerations for Using Bearings
While you can use either expansion or non-expansion bearings, you can also use both. If you do use both, keep in mind that the fixed bearings should all be on the same side. If you are using a dual-drive application on a single shaft, you should have one float bearing and one fixed bearing.
Choosing the Right Bearings
There are many kinds of roller bearings available for your conveyor available at Kurz. Choosing the right one is important for safety and optimal performance. Understanding the basic characteristics of the types of bearings available ensures that you will get a product that keeps your system going rather than cause problems.
If you need assistance finding the right bearing or deciding which one to get, contact Kurz for more information.