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Cutless Bearing
Cutless BearingCutless bearings refer to rubber lined bearings operating with water lubrication on an elasto-hydrodynamic principle. The fluted design of the bearing utilises basis lubrication principles to allow formation of hydrodynamic water wedges at the bearing surfaces by flow of water from the grooves.

Cutless bearings have a wide spectrum of marine applications, which include propeller shaft bearings in sterntubes or struts, rudder bearings and cutter bearings, in a variety of craft. Besides marine applications, cutless bearings are also used in hydroelectric turbines, centrifugal pumps and other water submersible devices.

When used in propeller shaft housing, the cutless bearing provides a structural support with built-in resilience that allows the bearing to yield in sympathy with the bending of the boats structure and thus prevents shaft bearing misalignment or shaft wear. The bearing also reduces vibration and the volume of noise being transmitted into the boat. It also absorbs shock and has an advantage of being almost maintenance free.

The name cutless is derived from the ability of such bearings to pass abrasive materials such as sand and marine organisms across its surface and into the flushing grooves. These abrasive particles do not embed into the bearing surface and cause little cutting and wearing of the shaft.

Manufacturing Process

Fluted Cylindrical Cutless Bearing can be prepared either by starve type bearing whereby the lining is prepared as an individual strip or by a full moulded bearing design whereby the lining is prepared as a continuous cylinder, usually press moulded. In both cases, the lining is usually bonded to a backing shell by an adhesive process.

Cutless bearings were normally made according to fixed length, internal diameter (I. D.) and outer diameter (O. D.) measurements. Besides the standard range available in the market, they can also be made according to request. Grooves in the inner lining can vary in numbers and size depending on their suitability during service. The lining material were normally made from ebonite rubber but can also be made from a softer material.

Compression moulding was normally used with suitable formulated compounds for both backing shell and the inner liner.

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