Tilting pad thrust bearings
are used in machine tools to balance the weight of a load. This type of bearing has many advantages, including low friction and low noise. Its design also minimizes the risk of misalignment and wear of bearing surfaces. Despite the advantages of tilting pad thrust bearings, there are also some drawbacks.
Tilting pad thrust bearings have variable geometry, which increases load-carrying capacity compared to fixed geometry thrust bearings. A typical tilting pad thrust bearing may be made of one piece or two halves. Tilting pad thrust bearings are a popular choice for low-load applications and can be used with journal bearings.
Tilting pad thrust bearings can incorporate a self-equalizing link to compensate for misalignment between the thrust collar and bearing. Another popular design incorporates pads on the upper level link and a lower level link that sits on a retainer base. The two-stage design allows tilting pad thrust bearings to balance loads evenly while minimizing axial runout.
One of the factors that influence the performance of tilting pad thrust bearings is the distance between the pivot of the tilting pad and the centroid of the journal. This distance, or elongation, is related to the preload coefficient of the pad. Similarly, the radius of the journal is related to the pivot position after installation.
Another factor that determines the effectiveness of tilting pad thrust bearings is the loading capacity. Most tilting pad thrust bearings are designed for shaft diameters between twenty-millimeters and 1,000-millimeters, with loads ranging from 0.5 to 500 tons.