LDK Bearings - Professional bearing manufacturer for all kinds of bearing unit since 1986 


Why Use Cast Iron Pillow Block Bearings

Cast iron pillow block bearings are an integral component in a wide range of industrial machinery and equipment. Their unique properties make them well-suited for many demanding applications. This article will provide an overview of cast iron pillow block bearings, their key advantages, various applications, available types, and proper maintenance.

Cast iron pillow block bearings, also known as plummer blocks, consist of a cast iron housing that contains bearing inserts. The cast iron body provides the main support for the bearing shaft while allowing rotation. Pillow blocks enable the mounting of shafts and axles while reducing friction. They are commonly used to support conveyors, gearboxes, motors and pumps. With their robust construction, cast iron pillow block bearings can reliably support heavy radial and axial loads across various environments.


Cast iron offers several benefits that make it an ideal material for pillow block bearings. Its natural damping capabilities allow for noise reduction which is important for many industrial applications. The material's vibration ingestion properties likewise lead to smoother activity. Cast iron's high compressive strength empowers it to endure weighty burdens without disfigurement over significant stretches. When lubricated properly, cast iron pillow blocks promote low friction operation and can handle high temperatures. Proper material selection and design is key to maximize these advantages in finished bearings.


Advantages of Cast Iron Pillow Block Bearings


Durability and Strength


A critical advantage of cast iron pillow blocks is their strength and burden-bearing limit. Project iron has a high compressive strength, permitting it to help outspread pivotal burdens without breaking or misshaping. The compressive strength of most solid metal grades goes from 90-100 ksi. This high strength enables the bearings to operate reliably under heavy loads over long periods.

With proper internal clearance and alignment, cast iron pillow blocks exhibit minimal deflection. This allows them to maintain precision shaft support. The excellent vibration damping capability of cast iron also reduces wear and tear on internal bearing components. These material properties translate to long service life and minimal maintenance needs for cast iron pillow block bearings.


Corrosion Resistance


Cast iron offers good corrosion resistance, particularly in comparison to steel. It forms a protective oxide film when exposed to air and water. The iron is protected from further corrosion by this oxide layer. Because it resists corrosion, cast iron is able to withstand harsh conditions like salt water, corrosive chemicals, and moisture. Proper surface coatings can further boost corrosion protection.

Cast iron pillow block bearings are well-suited for outdoor applications as well as extremely humid or washdown environments found in many food processing plants. The corrosion resistance allows the bearings to maintain dimensional precision and avoid seizing up due to rust formation.


High Temperature Resistance


Cast iron has a high liquefying point of roughly 1200°C to 1300°C. Because of this, cast iron pillow blocks can withstand temperatures above 450 degrees Celsius in numerous applications. At high temperatures, cast iron keeps up with satisfactory strength and shock obstruction.

The excellent thermal conductivity of cast iron prevents localized hot spots in pillow block bearings operating at high speeds or temperatures. It effectively conducts heat away from the shaft and inner bearing components. These properties make cast iron suitable for pillow blocks used in ovens, dryers, furnaces, and similar high-temperature equipment.


Applications of Cast Iron Pillow Block Bearings


Industrial Machinery


Cast iron pillow block bearings are used in a lot of industrial machinery. They give powerful shaft support in gearboxes, pulleys, transport rollers, fans, and siphons. These bearings are able to function reliably under hefty radial and axial loads due to the high strength of cast iron. Vibration damping limits gear mileage.

Significant benefits incorporate the capacity to endure dampness, destructive exhaust, and high temperatures tracked down in numerous modern cycles. Cast iron pillow blocks require lower maintenance compared to many bearing materials. These factors make them a popular choice for heavy machinery spanning many sectors.


Agricultural Equipment


The excellent corrosion resistance of cast iron makes pillow block bearings well-suited for agricultural equipment. They stand up well to moisture, fertilizers, soil abrasion, and other exposure found in farm environments. Cast iron pillow blocks support drive shafts in harvesters, tillers, seeders, mowers, and irrigation pumps.

The shock absorption capability of cast iron pillow blocks cushion equipment against impacts from rocks and debris. This reduces wear while enabling smooth power transmission. The bearings’ high strength supports heavy radial loads in agricultural augers, conveyors, and processing equipment. Overall, cast iron pillow block bearings promote reliable performance and longevity across farming applications.


Construction Equipment


In construction machinery, cast iron pillow block bearings endure vibration, shock loads, and abrasive dust. Load-bearing capacity and vibration resistance minimize equipment wear in conveyors, rock crushers, cement mixers, and earth movers. The excellent thermal conductivity prevents overheating in high-load applications.

Corrosion resistance boosts longevity around water, mud, and weather exposure at construction sites. With proper seals, lubrication, and maintenance, construction equipment with cast iron pillow block bearings maintains precision shaft support over long service. This minimizes downtime and replacement needs, saving time and costs.


Types of Cast Iron Pillow Block Bearings


There are several types of cast iron pillow block bearings tailored to different load capacity and speed requirements:


- Split housing blocks – These allow direct shaft mounting and replacement of inner bearing components. Different cap fastener designs enable precise alignment.

- Solid housing blocks – For single-piece construction without removable caps. Ideal for light-duty applications.

- Two-bolt and four-bolt blocks – Two-bolt design for lighter loads. Four-bolt blocks can handle heavier radial, axial, and moment loads.

- Self-aligning blocks – Used where shaft misalignment may occur. Allow up to 2° misalignment through spherical outer bearing raceway.

- Flanged blocks – Utilize integral flanges to enable direct mounting to machinery. Eliminate need for sole plates.

- Takeup blocks – Allow axial adjustment of shaft position to control endplay. Useful where thermal expansion is significant.

- Eccentric blocks – Have offset bore enabling positional adjustment for tensioning. Used in belt and chain drives.

Proper selection depends on load capacity, shaft speed, environmental exposure, and alignment flexibility needed. Pillow block bearing types can be chosen based on detailed specifications and advice from manufacturers.


Maintenance and Troubleshooting


Like any part, cast iron pillow block bearings require appropriate upkeep and care for ideal execution. Ensuring clean oil bath or grease lubrication is vital. Contamination can cause premature wear. Regular inspection of internal clearances, seals, and fastener torque is recommended. Loose fits lead to vibration while overly tight fits increase friction. Troubleshooting issues like overheating or unusual noise relies on identifying their root causes. Bearing misalignment, insufficient lubrication, excessive loading, and blocked ventilation often underlie common problems. Technicians should address these root causes and not just the symptoms. With good installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting, cast iron pillow block bearings provide years of reliable service.




Cast iron pillow block bearings offer distinct advantages that make them a popular choice for industrial machinery across sectors. Their cast iron housing provides durable support and withstands high loads and temperatures. Great vibration damping, consumption obstruction, and long assistance life advance lower support needs. Cast iron pillow blocks are tracked down on a wide range of pivoting hardware from gearboxes and siphons to transports and smashers. Cast iron pillow block bearings continue to provide robust, dependable shaft support in challenging industrial environments when selected, installed, and maintained appropriately.


Deyuan Smart Technology (Fujian) Co., Ltd is a reputable cast iron pillow block bearing manufacturer. Our core services revolve around product excellence, quality control, and reliability verification. We boast an advanced measurement center equipped with state-of-the-art precision measurement facilities, ensuring the highest level of accuracy and quality throughout our manufacturing processes.


With our comprehensive testing abilities, including fatigue life, noise/vibration, tensile strength, load capacity comparison, mud slurry, and salt spray tests, we are committed to delivering products that meet the most rigorous industry standards. This dedication to quality control allows us to maintain the trust and recognition of our customers in the industry.


One of our distinct advantages is our wide product range, offering bearing bores ranging from 10mm to 140mm. We provide various material options, configurations, and surface treatments, allowing for customization tailored to the specific needs of our customers.


At Deyuan Smart Technology, we take great pride in the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our customers. You can have full confidence in choosing us as your trusted partner in the cast iron pillow block bearing industry. For further inquiries or to discuss your specific requirements, please reach out to kzhang@ldk-bearings.com or call +86-592-580 7618. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to work with you.



[1] Lee, K. (2016). Pillow block bearings basics. Machinery Lubrication.

[2] Blazevic, D. (2020). Selecting the right bearing and housing combination. Bearing Tips.

[3] Saint-Gobain. (2020). Cast iron as a bearing material.

[4] Kannon USA. (2020). Advantages of cast iron.

[5] Rinehart Motion Systems. (2020). Bearing failures and their causes.

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