Bearings & Couplings

Pivot Bearings

BearingsThe C-Flex bearing or pivot is a cylindrical, limited rotational bearing, with a high relative radial and axial stiffness which is available in low, medium, or high torsional spring rates. It is typically available for maximum deflection angles of +/-30, but various configurations are supplied upon request. Torsional stiffness ranges from .0003 Lb-In/degree to 7.8023 Lb-In/degree. It can be used simply as an oscillating unit or an extremely sensitive critical element.

The advantages of cross-flexure bearings has been well documented in connection with the replacing of ball bearing pivots in optomechanical applications. One such application in which the C-Flex bearing has outperformed alternatives is the scanning mirror assembly of a mass spectometer. Here two mirrors are mounted on an assembly and laser beams are scanned across samples to be analyzed. The lubrication free, frictionless movement of the C-Flex bearings is ideal in applications such as this where the outgassing from bearing lubricants could contaminate the optics, and bearing wear due to continuous limited rotation would eventually result in movement errors.

The bearing itself consists of two stainless steel sleeves held in position by three leaf springs on two planes. There is no contact between the sleeves eliminating friction, and the springs also provide the pivotal action which is inherently self centering and requires no lubrication or maintenance. The bearing is also available with an additional sleeve allowing for central mounting providing two pivotal arms (the double end bearing, sizes AD to JD).

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Designed to couple two rotating shafts together, C-Flex couplings can accommodate large misalignments while transmitting high torque loads with zero backlash. Their construction provides for a low moment of inertia and minimal impact upon system dynamics. A large through hole allows for smaller coupling utilization for fitting larger shafts and the fact that they can be disassembled prior to installation, makes them ideal for retrofit applications.

Constructed using high strength hardened stainless steel or glass impregnated polyamide flexures, the couplings require no maintenance, providing years of trouble-free life, even in contaminated environments. Directionally independent, they can provide the same torsional rigidity and offset capability regardless of the rotation direction.

The use of C-Flex couplings in mechanical systems to connect rotating shafts will result in lower energy usage and bearing failure, since less stress is placed upon bearings. Misalignment forces on the bearings of a rotating system generates heat which is wasted energy. The use of C-Flex couplings will minimize these misalignment forces and result in a more energy efficient system.

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