Understanding Bushings


Bushings are the bearing with multiple uses and names – bushing, bushes and often times just the term bearing is used.

Bushings by definition are usually a removable cylindrical part for an opening or bore (as of a mechanical part). They are used to limit the size of the opening, support a load, protect other mating members or serve as a guide. Ultimately a sleeve bushing aids in controlling friction and wear in dynamically-loaded applications, and can be serviced when needed.

Below is a look at the types of construction:

  • Solid Construction (Sleeved or Flanged) – Homogeneous material all around the circumference or layered providing a composite structure
    • Sleeved Cylinder – A bushing without a flange
    • Flanged Cylinder – A sleeve bushing with a flange at one end extending radially outward from the outer diameter
  • Split Construction – A cylinder formed from a flat sheet and contains a juncture along the length of the bushing
  • Clenched Split Construction– Same as the split bushing but has interlocking tabs at the slit providing no-gap across the slit
  • Special custom construction – Made to customer specifications

The following strategies ensure the right product for the application:

Pull in Bushing Resources Before they are Needed

Thinking about a new project or application? Bring in the bushing manufacturer at the beginning of a project.  A bushing expert can talk through the application and benefits of specific materials and how they relate to your intended results. 

Get a Cost Estimate on a Custom Bushing Solution

If you already have a unique bushing in use, send the print to another manufacturer for review and bid. A fresh set of eyes can see opportunities to advance the design or save on costs. The process may also prove that the current solution is the optimal one.

Choose From the Product Catalog

Know exactly what you need? Use a manufactures product catalog to find the bushing recommendations, materials, sizing information and technical considerations. A technical sales-engineer can provide greater detail and comprehensive insight before the selection process is completed and sales order placed.

However you choose a bushing, be sure to utilize industry bearing professionals to verify that the bushing’s material, design and attributes will fit your application. After all, the bearing manufacturer wants their product to be the optimal solution for you.