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Introduction to Maritime Bearings and Lubrication

Learn about the fundamental aspects of bearings and lubrication in the maritime sector in this free online course.

Publisher: ADU
This introductory course on maritime bearings and lubrication guides you through using bearings on shipboard machinery and their purpose. Learn about different types of anti-friction bearings used onboard ships, the differences between the ball and roller bearings and their respective applications. By the end of this course, be familiar with bearings and lubrication methods and become an authority on applying journal bearings for shipboard use.
Introduction to Maritime Bearings and Lubrication
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation


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how bearing supports and aligns the rotating parts of the shipboard machinery. It describes the location of bearings on both sides (drive and non-drive end) of the pump and motor shafts and introduces the larger journal and cross-head bearings for heavy and high torque machinery. We discuss the most common bearings on board, including smaller ball and roller bearings. You will learn to identify bearings using the numbers written on them. Discover how the largest and the highest speed ball bearings are used on turbochargers, usually oil lubricated. This course then takes you through the process behind smaller and lower speed bearings common around the machinery space. Metal-upon-metal contact produces large amounts of friction. This friction adds to the wear and tear of the metal, creating grinding of parts that slowly degrades the metal. Learn how bearings help reduce friction by having the two surfaces roll over each other, reducing the amount of friction produced.

Next, you will analyse how to subdivide antifriction bearings into balls and roller bearings. Investigate the components of antifriction bearings, including a smooth metal ball or roller that rolls against a smooth inner and outer metal surface. Examine how the rollers or balls take the load, allowing the device to spin. We will guide you through the principle behind rollers and balls in terms of reduction in friction. The course then describes the impact of having a tightly fixed polished bearing sleeve on the rotating machine. You will learn that ball bearings are better suited for high-speed movement, while roller bearings have the advantage of taking on a higher load. We describe in great detail the concept of radial or thrust load. Depending on the location of the bearing in a system, it can see all of a radial, thrust load or a combination. This course describes how bearings in the pumps support a radial and a thrust load before looking at the technique by which the weight of the horizontal pump on bearings produces a radial load. In contrast, the thrust load may be produced as fluid moves axially or in other directions through the pump.

We will explore some common types of bearings used on ships and you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of rolling contact (antifriction) bearings. As the most common bearing type, you will notice how ball bearings handle radial and thrust loads. Ball bearings are also known as ‘deep-groove single-row bearings’. There are many types of roller bearings, including straight roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, spherical roller bearings and needle roller bearings. The course takes you through the bearing number identification and lubrication by grease, which may prove more desirable than lubrication by oil under certain conditions. Finally, the course describes friction bearings as journal bearings. We will take you through the main types of sliding contact bearings, the general bearing design criteria and how you use journal bearings with main diesel engines. If you love ships or are interested in mechanical engineering related to the shipping system, start this course today and gain more insight into the internal workings of the ship system.

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