The global paper and pulp market is set to reach $370 billion by 2028.
That market — which makes everything from receipts and catalog paper to post-it notes and paper-based packaging — relies heavily on several types of bearings. Moreover, papermaking machines require these bearings to run well.
Importance of Bearings in Papermaking Machinery
Papermaking machines have three main areas:
- A wet end section that pulls the bulk of water and moisture out of the pulp
- A drying section that removes the remaining moisture
- A finishing section that ensures a standard smoothness, thickness, and glossiness to the paper
The conversion of wet pulp into dry paper relies on those three sections working together. Moreover, those three sections rely on bearings to keep the rolls, gears, motors, rope sheaves, and other equipment functioning correctly.
All paper industry bearings are manufactured to work toward a long bearing life, an excellent limiting speed, and quality bearing materials that can withstand high temperatures.
Types of Bearings in the Papermaking Industry
Paper industry bearings come in four main types: spherical roller, tapered roller, cylindrical roller, and ball bearing.
Spherical Roller Bearings
Spherical roller bearings are the most commonly used bearings in the papermaking industry. Therefore, they’re critical to the success of the three main sections.
In the wet section, they’re used in forming rolls, suction rolls, center press rolls, and anti-deflection rolls. In the dryer section, both guide rolls and dryer rolls use them. Lastly, the calendar rolls of the finishing section use spherical roller bearings.
Typically made of chrome steel with a cage of brass, polyamide, or sheet steel, the spherical roller bearings can support both radial and axial loads.
Tapered Roller Bearings
Tapered roller bearings are often used for secondary processes and equipment such as pumps, gears, and pulpers.
Also made from chrome steel, these bearings can function well at high temperatures and speeds. In addition, they can support significant axial, radial, and combination loads.
Cylindrical Roller Bearings
Cylindrical roller bearings are not widely used in papermaking machinery. However, they’re sometimes customized to fit special operations.
Most are made from low-carbon steel or alloy and can operate with heavy radial loads at moderate speed.
Ball bearings come in two main types: deep groove and angular contact.
Both bearings tend to be used in secondary equipment such as gears, pulpers, and winders. However, the deep groove ball bearings are often used in the spreader rolls of the finishing section.
Often made of chrome steel, they can accommodate radial, axial, and combination loads at various speeds.
Learn More About Bearings
The paper industry relies on several types of bearings to make the products that people and businesses use daily. Therefore, knowing about the structure and function of each bearing is essential to the overall success of papermaking machines.
The next step is sourcing suitable bearings. Contact Kor-Pak to find out how we can help.