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Mechanical Engineering

power transmission

Much of mechanical engineering has to do with making things move ME is often called power transmission. Today we will study some basic elements of power transmission: gears, shafts and bearings

Bearings
are simply places where two parts that are in motion relative to each other come together. They can accommodate both rotating and sliding motion, and even a combination of the two. Bearings are designed to prevent motion in a particular direction while allowing motion in another. They come in a variety of designs, shapes, and sizes;

primary functions are generally:


To allow one part to move relative to another while controlling the motion in at least one axis To reduce friction and wear as much as possible on moving parts To reduce bending stresses on shafts To provide a replaceable, sacrificial part in a large or expensive mechanism.

plain bearing
Plain bearings use simple sliding contact between the two surfaces, as opposed to rolling element bearings like ball bearings. Plain bearings may be dry, relying on smooth, slippery materials to reduce friction, or they may be lubricated by a film of liquid or gas.

bearings come in three basic configurations.


Radial bearings allow the shaft to rotate but constrain it from moving in the axes perpendicular to the axis of the shaft Thrust bearings allow rotation of the shaft, but prevent the translation of the shaft along the axis of the shaft/bearing. Linear bearings constrain the motion to be along a guideway or guideshaft, but constrain motion perpendicular to the guide.

Radial bearings

Radial bearings usually cannot constrain motion along the axis of the shaft, either, but their primary purpose is radial support. Radial bearings are fixed bearings usually ttached to a base or mounting system.

Thrust bearings

Consider the hinges of a door. Hinges are constructed to act as a thrust bearing, preventing the door from sliding along the hinge pin and resting on the floor. Thrust bearings are found on all motor shafts, swivelling chair seats, lazy susan mechanisms

Linear bearings

Some linear bearings allow rotation about a cylindrical shaft, while others do not

Construct a simple shaft and plain radial bearing


The shaft can rotate about the X axis or translate along the X axis. But it is constrained from translating in either the Y or Z directions, and is also constrained from rotating freely in Y or Z

Construct a simple shaft and plain radial bearing


The shaft can rotate about the X axis or translate along the X axis. But it is constrained from translating in either the Y or Z directions, and is also constrained from rotating freely in Y or Z

A shaft and bearing set up like this would quickly wear grooves into the shaft (weakening it significantly) and would round the corners of the hole through the Lego block. Any reduction in the 3.5 cm moment arm reduces the reaction forces comparably, and thus it is good design practice to keep any lateral loads on the shaft as close to the bearing as possible.

A single radial bearing cannot adequately constrain the shaft from rotation about the two perpendicular axes, due to the necessary tolerances between the shaft and the bearing. To prevent the generation of concentrated loading forces like those you just investigated, radial bearings are almost always installed in pairs.

Add a second bearing block to support the shaft Note how much more effectively the shaft is now constrained from unwanted rotation about the Y and Z axes.

Move the second bearing block slightly to understand the effect of improper alignment of bearings. Note that misalignment can occur either by translation or rotation of the second bearing, as shown in figures

Thrust Bearings
What keeps the shaft from sliding laterally through the bearing? This is where Thrust bearings come into the system. Thrust bearings act as locking collars to fix a shaft in place. The purpose is to provide a smooth surface to turn freely with the shaft and to push-off the wall if the shaft would begin to walk.

Thrust bearings usually work in pairs, one to prevent movement in the positive direction and one to stop negative movement.

types of thrust bearings used in the Lego kits