Space saving design with thin section bearings

Written by: RA Rodriguez (UK) Ltd | Published:

Bearing options are many but bearing specification is critical to the positioning accuracy, size and cost of many systems. Because thin section bearings can satisfy all these factors and give greater design flexibility, many manufacturers are turning to thin section bearings to save weight and space. Either in radial contact, angular contact or 4-point contact type, there is a solution to meet most requirements.

Bearings form the core of the R. A. Rodriguez business. The company offers an extremely wide range of high precision products with full technical support to match. At the heart of the range is KAYDON®, a leading name in large and small bearings in both standard and custom configurations including the world-renowned REALI-SLIM® thin section bearings. KAYDON® manufactures combination load bearings up to nearly 4.6m and is unique in the breadth of product capabilities offered.

Reali-Slim bearings are ideal for applications in aviation, aerospace, robotics, machine tools, semiconductor manufacturing and medical equipment – indeed any application where a lighter, thinner bearing is required. These bearings are available in different radial sections up to 1m diameter ex-stock.

In designing a high performance race car with a competitive edge, the choice of the bearing is critical. Weight and space are key factors in improving speed and fuel economy but this cannot be achieved at the expense of quality performance. For this reason KAYDON® thin-section bearings have become the constructor's choice across the motor racing sector whether it be for Formula 1, Formula 3000 or rally cars.

Without sacrificing bearing accuracy, the KAYDON® REALI-SLIM® bearings can be optimised to minimise friction, outgassing, contamination and even wear. Indeed the company specialises in meeting the specific demands of semiconductor manufacturing by offering a range of options to create the optimum characteristics.
These custom REALI-SLIM® bearings were therefore the ideal choice for a gripper arm assembly on an implant machine for the processing of silicon wafers.

A bearing for a pipe-welding machine caused a dilemma for its designers. It called for a bearing with an inside diameter of twelve inches to support the trimmer and cutting blade. A standard bearing with this dimension would, however, be too large and heavy. The solution was a standard product from the KAYDON® REALI-SLIM® range. The size selected was a 305mm (12 inch) diameter bearing with a cross section of only 10mm (3/8 of an inch). This allowed the manufacturer to use a large diameter bearing and still keep the design compact.

Turntable bearings are a KAYDON® speciality. Typical applications include slewing rings for cranes, aerial work platforms, gun turrets, radar pedestals, forestry, surveillance, scanner and materials handling equipment. There are models to suit every need from light to extreme heavy duty. There is also a Reali-Slim® version of this range too offering the benefits of small size and minimum weight.

The success of equipment designed for use in special applications can often rest with one or a combination of bearing features and that's where KAYDON® custom bearings score highly. Manufactured and tested to the highest quality standards, special attention is paid to balls, bearing raceway geometry, finish and retainer design resulting in optimum bearing performance.

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