Bushings aren’t used exclusively in automobiles. They are used in airplanes as well. Both rotary and jet engine airplanes feature bushings. While they are small and simple components, bushings play an important role in the function of airplanes. What are bushings exactly?
The Basics of Bushings
Bushings are hollow components that allow the parts with which they are used to rotate. Rotating parts can be connected to the ends of a bushing. Once connected, the parts will be able to freely rotate.
Airplanes, of course, have thousands of individual parts, many of which rotate. Landing gear parts, for instance, must rotate when raised or lowered. Bushings allow these parts to rotate by isolating them inside of a hollow shell.
How Bushings Work
You can find bushings in different sizes. Some of them are long, whereas others are short. You can also find them in different materials. Stainless steel, carbon steel and aluminum alloy are common materials in which bushings are made. Regardless, all bushings work in a similar way.
As shown in the photo above, bushings feature a simple design. They consist of hollow tubes. The ends of a bushing are designed to accommodate rotating parts. A rotating part can be inserted into the end of a bushing. The bushing will then isolate the part while allowing it to rotate.
Benefits of Bushings
Bushings eliminate the need for lubricants. Rotating parts can generate friction. As a part rotates over and over, it will generate friction that can degrade its performance. While lubricating grease or oil can reduce friction, an alternative solution is to use a bushing. Bushings allow parts to rotate without the need for lubricants.
In addition to eliminating the need for lubricants, bushings protect the parts with which they are used from vibrations. Vibrations are a concern for airplanes. During flight, airplanes will naturally vibrate due to turbulence as well as their engines. Vibrations can cause parts to weaken or loosen, which can jeopardize the structural integrity of airplanes.
Fortunately, bushings are available to minimize vibrations. They won’t necessarily prevent airplanes from vibrating. Bushings will, however, absorb the vibrations so that parts are less likely to sustain damage.
Bushings are isolator bearings that are designed for use with rotating parts. In airplanes, they allow parts to rotate without the need for lubricants. Bushings consist of hollow tubes that support rotating parts on the ends.