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What are Pressed Steel Pillow Blocks

What are Pressed Steel Pillow Blocks?  

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks are an important component in many industrial applications. As bearing housings, they are used to support rotating shafts and enable the smooth operation of machinery and equipment. In this article, we will explore the definition, manufacturing process, characteristics, advantages, applications, and considerations of using pressed steel pillow blocks.

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks provide an economical and sturdy housing for bearings that support rotating shafts. They are constructed by pressing and forming steel sheets into hollow bearing housings with attachment holes and grease fittings. Pressed steel pillow blocks are widely used in conveyors, gearboxes, pumps, motors, agricultural equipment, construction machinery, and many other industrial applications. Their versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness make them a popular choice for engineers and plant maintenance personnel across a range of industries. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive overview of pressed steel pillow blocks, including their key properties, benefits, example applications, and selection criteria.

 

Understanding Pressed Steel Pillow Blocks

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks are bearing housings made of pressed steel plates formed into a box-like hollow shell. The purpose of the pillow block is to house and support a rotating shaft using bearings. The bearing fits inside the pillow block while the shaft passes through the center of the bearing. Pillow blocks enable the shaft to spin smoothly while being held in proper alignment by the sturdy housing.

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks are manufactured by stamping and forming steel sheets on progressive dies into the desired shape. The use of pressed steel makes the blocks more economical compared to other materials like cast iron. The fabrication process also allows for the mass production of pillow blocks in standard sizes and configurations. Mating surfaces are precision machined to ensure accurate alignment.

 

Proper material selection is critical when choosing pressed steel pillow blocks. Factors like load capacity, shock and vibration resistance, corrosion protection, and precision requirements determine the optimal grade of steel. Consulting manufacturer specifications and industry standards helps ensure the blocks are suitable for the operating conditions.

 

Characteristics of Pressed Steel Pillow Blocks

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks offer a combination of strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness making them suitable for industrial applications. The stamped steel construction provides rigidity and shock resistance under heavy loads and vibration. The grain structure of pressed steel gives it higher tensile strength compared to cast materials. Pressed steel blocks have a high load bearing capacity, typically between 1 to over 100 tons depending on size and material.

 

The steel material has natural wear resistance and damping properties. Pressed steel pillow blocks retain dimensional stability better than plastic housings which may deform over time. Proper surface treatments and lubrication further improve the durability of pressed steel blocks in harsh operating environments. The steel construction provides thermal stability as well, preventing premature failure.

 

In terms of cost, pressed steel pillow blocks are more affordable compared to cast iron or cast steel alternatives. The high production volumes using steel stamping processes allows manufacturers to offer these standardized bearing housings at lower costs. The competitive pricing makes pressed steel pillow blocks popular in price-sensitive industrial applications.

 

Advantages of Pressed Steel Pillow Blocks

 

There are several important advantages to using pressed steel pillow blocks:

 

- High load bearing capacity suitable for supporting heavy shaft loads

- Withstand shock, vibration, and impact loads due to the rigidity of pressed steel

- Versatile for a wide range of general industrial applications

- Cost-effective compared to cast iron or cast steel bearing housings

- Quick and easy installation using standardized mounting holes

- Lower maintenance needs compared to other bearing housing materials

- Interchangeable with other manufacturer blocks of the same size

- Readily available in many standard sizes and bolt hole configurations

- Provide proper shaft alignment when mounted correctly

- Steel construction resists deformation and runout problems

- Allow grease lubrication to reach internal bearing surfaces

 

These benefits make pressed steel pillow blocks a highly versatile and economical choice for most industrial applications requiring rugged and reliable performance. The standardized design allows for easy installation, maintenance, and parts replacement.

 

Application Examples 

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks have widespread use in many industries. Some common applications include:

 

Conveyor Systems - Pressed steel pillow blocks support the rollers and shafts in conveyor lines used extensively in distribution, warehousing, packaging, and processing facilities. The blocks withstand high-impact and vibration loads from conveyor operation.

 

Agricultural Equipment - Plows, harvesters, bailers, and other farm machinery rely on pressed steel pillow blocks for smooth operation and durability in harsh field conditions. The blocks support drive shafts and wheel axles under heavy loads.

 

Mining Industry - Mine hoists, crushers, and mineral processing equipment require sturdy bearing housings. Pressed steel pillow blocks withstand shock loads and provide alignment accuracy in mine machinery.

 

Pulp and Paper Industry - Pressed steel pillow blocks support drying rollers, conveyors, and calendar stacks in paper production and converting processes. The blocks resist wet environments and maintain alignment. 

 

Manufacturing Industry - All types of rotating machinery including motors, pumps, presses, and compressors utilize pressed steel pillow blocks extensively as a versatile bearing housing solution.

 

There are also industry standards published by organizations such as ISO and ASTM that provide specifications and dimensions for standard pressed steel pillow block series. Engineers consult these standards when designing equipment to ensure optimal block selection and application.

 

Limitations and Considerations

 

While having many benefits, pressed steel pillow blocks also come with the following limitations and considerations:

 

- Not recommended for high precision applications due to potential housing deformation under heavy loads

- More susceptible to corrosion compared to cast iron blocks, may require specialized coatings

- Not suitable for extreme shock load applications due to lower damping capabilities versus cast materials

- Requires proper mounting, alignment, and lubrication maintenance for optimum performance

- Selection needs to match speed capabilities, load ratings, and environmental conditions

- Will not isolate vibration as effectively as polymer or rubber materials

- Consult engineering specifications, industry standards, and manufacturer guidance when selecting

- Not interchangeable with cast style pillow block series

 

Proper installation and maintenance practices must be followed to gain maximum benefit from pressed steel pillow blocks. While offering sturdy support and alignment for most general applications, they are not a fit for all operating conditions. Careful selection with help from manufacturers and referring to industry references will ensure the blocks chosen match the specific environment and loading requirements.

 

Conclusion

 

Pressed steel pillow blocks offer an economical bearing housing solution suitable for a wide variety of industrial machinery applications. Compared to cast iron and steel, pressed steel construction provides strength, shock resistance, and cost benefits although not recommended for extreme precision systems. With proper selection and maintenance, pressed steel pillow blocks can provide reliable shaft support and alignment under moderate to heavy loads. They are versatile enough to be used across many sectors but engineers should always reference specifications, standards, and manufacturer data to match the blocks with operating conditions. With their standardized design and extensive availability, pressed steel pillow blocks will continue to enable critical rotating machinery in factories, plants, and worksites around the world.

 

At Deyuan Smart Technology, we take great pride in the recognition our product quality and services have garnered from customers in the industry. We strive to provide exceptional products and services that meet and exceed customer expectations. You can trust us as your reliable partner in the pillow blocks industry. For further inquiries or to discuss your specific requirements, please contact kzhang@ldk-bearings.com or call +86-592-580 7618. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

 

 

References

1. Nash, D. K. (2010). Bearing design in machinery: Engineering tribology and lubrication. CRC Press.

 

2. Gupta, K. (2009). Mechanical design of machine elements and machines. John Wiley & Sons.

 

3. Male, A. M., & Male, A. M. (1960). Pillow blocks: Their selection and application. HK Lewis.

 

4. ISO 11926-1:2011. Steel static structural bearings -- Part 1: Pressed steel prestressed plain shoulder spherical bearings. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.

 

5. ASTM A29/A29M-16 Standard Specification for Steel Bars, Carbon and Alloy, Hot-Wrought, General Requirements for. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.


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