When to Use a Steady Bearing in Your Industrial Mixer Shaft Design


Steady bearings have been used with mixing equipment for centuries, but often are not used today.

Industrial Mixer Shaft Design  (3 of 4)

Steady bearings have been used with mixing equipment for the past 400 years and are an important design consideration for your industrial mixer shaft. However, most industrial mixers today do not use them.

So what is a steady bearing? An industrial mixer steady bearing is a guide bushing that is usually installed in a mounting on the floor of the mixing vessel. The end of the mixer shaft is inserted into the bushing. The steady bearing restricts shaft deflections caused by unbalanced hydraulic loads induced by mixing.

A steady bearing helps solve the critical speed design problem for industrial mixers.  When the bottom of the shaft is constrained, its mode of vibration changes.  The maximum deflection is approximately at the midpoint of the shaft instead of at the end.  In this vibration mode, the natural frequency or critical speed is much higher than an unsupported shaft. Since the industrial mixer designer has already chosen its operating speed, they can use a significantly smaller shaft diameter along with the steady bearing support. Furthermore, the steady bearing resists the lower most impeller side loads and keeps them from being transmitted to the gearbox or pedestal as bending moment.

The combination of the above benefits can result in significant cost savings, lighter weight and lower loading on the nozzle or beams that support your industrial mixer. In some cases, the reduction on bending moment alone results in significant indirect savings.

For More Information

Whether to install a steady bearing or not will depend on your process and safety procedures. To help determine if you should install a steady bearing, complete the ProQuip Applications Data Sheet or contact us at 330-468-1850 or sales@proquipinc.com

To learn more about industrial mixer shaft design, look for part 4 of our series, “4 Reasons You Should Not Use a Steady Bearing in Your Industrial Mixer Shaft Design.”

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