What You Should Know About Bearings for Air Compressors

The choice between bushings and bearings for your air compressors is one that will have long-lasting consequences on the operation of your machinery. In general, industry experts recommend using bushings over bearings. While the two parts serve the same function, bushings are slightly better at ensuring effective performance and make it less likely that you will need to spend higher amounts of money on maintenance and repairs.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about compressor bearings and bushings in Wisconsin, and why the latter is probably your best bet, helping you to make more informed decisions when in need of parts for your compressor.

The differences between bearings and bushings

Bearings for a compressor feature two rings that are separated by a series of small metal balls, which roll along indentations in a retainer between those two rings. This process is what creates movement of the inner and outer rings.

The uses for bearings can vary—they may in some cases be used for radial loading with rotating parts, or thrust loading with thrusting parts, or even a combination of both in some applications. In either circumstance, the rolling balls inside the bearing are what bear the load of the rotation process, which makes the thrusting or rolling parts move more smoothly against stationary parts.

Bushings are a tube of metal that allow motion via sliding instead of rolling, and do not have multiple parts that cut down on friction like bearings. They instead feature a single film of oil, and are pressure lubricated.

The lack of extra parts is part of what makes bushings a preferable option in many circumstances. There are no metal parts that rub together, which means you don’t have to worry as much about long-term wear and tear when using bushings versus bearings. The bushings’ lubricant has the same role as the balls inside the bearing, so every oil change for a compressor is essentially the same as installing new bearings. This means bushings will last much longer and maintain a high level of performance, so long as you keep up with your standard maintenance.

Bushings are also less likely to have problems with corrosion than bearings are, which means operators are able to avoid issues with potential down time and other productivity problems.

So, while bearings do still have use in modern compressors in Wisconsin, you may be able to save yourself time and money by going with bushings instead. This will help you achieve the utmost in efficiency, durability and cost savings in the long run.

Interested in learning more about the technology being used in today’s compressors, and how the choice between small parts like bushings and bearings can make a significant difference in the efficiency of your operation? We encourage you to contact the team at Wenniger Compressor Co. for more information about the products and services we provide. We look forward to answering any questions you have and to helping you maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your compressors.

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