Magnetic repulsion bearings
“Can we use magnetism to improve bearings?”
Normal bearings use mechanical forces to lock onto a rotor. However, this method can be made highly inefficient due to heat and frictional losses resulting from contact. However, can we use our engineering mindset to improve this system? Well, to start, let’s look at the root of the problem, the mechanical contact. If we remove this feature, then our system can work with much fewer impingements. One way to create a non-contact grip is to use a magnetic force. So what if we made bearings that make use of magnetic levitation technology to keep in contact? Well, this is the exact idea behind magnetic repulsion bearings, which use a repulsive force to achieve passive levitation. Not only does the repulsion effect keep the bearing afloat, but it also introduces a self-centering mechanism, so if one part becomes to close it will be repelled away.