What is a Pillow Block Bearing?

A Pillow Block Bearing is a mounted anti-friction bearing that’s contained within a solid cast iron, ductile iron or cast steel housing unit.

Also called a housed bearing unit, meaning they’re self indulgent, greased, sealed and ready for installation on the gear. Pillow Block bearings are usually bolted to a surface, so the attached shaft runs parallel with the surface. There are two kinds of housings used for pillow block bearings, split and solid housings. Solid housed bearings are single-piece housings, while divide housed bearings are two-piece housings. Pillow block bearings may contain various kinds of bearings, including ball, roller and tapered. Shaft attachment apparatus can be set screw, eccentric lock, double or single pair collar, concentric lock or tapered adapter.
Each device has their own positive and negatives. Seals vary too, including clearance seals, light touch, heavy contact and auxiliary type seals. Pillow Block Bearings, typically, also come in a fixed or growth variant. The growth bearings allow for rotating growth and can reduce the chance of loading one position against the other. Deciding on the best shaft mount apparatus and seal will prolong bearing life. When installed correctly, pillow block bearings can last years without having to be replaced. Follow the following steps that a blocked drain plumber would suggest to ensure minimal downtime and a longer service life.

*This process is for the most frequent shaft locking device set screw or set collar, using a fixed and expansion unit, but the general guidelines apply to all bearing installs.

1) Assess and clean the shaft first, check your shafting to make sure it’s clean, round, straight, free of burrs and nicks and isn’t undersized or oversized, each of the manufacturers specification.
2) Position the bearings on the shaft when placing the bearing onto the shaft, if it’s essential to tap the bearing into place, use a mallet and a wooden block or soft steel tubing against the inner ring. Don’t apply pressure on the home or seals.
3) Lightly bolt the screw into the mounting structure locate the shaft set up by lightly bolting the home to the mounting arrangement. Bridge over the home mounting bolt slots with heavy washers, or heavy spring lock washers. This might help prevent loosening.
4) Establish the closing mounting position prior to securing the bolts, set your final mounting position by aligning the bearing units by hand or a rubber mallet.
5) Securely bolt the home into the mounting structure once the bearing is properly aligned, securely bolt both components to the mounting arrangement.
6) Make sure the shaft can transfer axially ensure the shaft can move axially through the bearing bores to confirm proper alignment. If this can’t be achieved, loosen the housings and realign the shaft.
7) Tighten the two collar place screws tighten both collar set screws, and then rotate the shaft and alternately tighten to the manufacturer recommended torque values. If a torque wrench isn’t available, tighten the set screws until a permanent twist is created with an allen-wrench.
If you’re using an expansion unit, always lock the fixed bearing first. Move the expansion posture axially to centre in the housing. Once centred, alternately tighten the set screws on the growth unit as you did on the fixed unit.
These are the best methods to properly install a pillow block bearing for clean drains and pipes within an industrial space.