Published: February 16, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Bushing Mean?

A bushing is a sleeve or fitting that provides a bearing surface in a wide variety of mechanical or plumbing applications. The term is often used interchangeably with the word bearing, although, bearings are usually thought of as more complex and consisting of multiple parts.

Bushings may be part of the piping, drilling systems or mechanical devices used in the trenchless construction industry.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Bushing

Bushings serve many different purposes. A bushing can be a spacer or isolator. It can be used to reduce friction between connected parts. Or it can serve as a guide for the installation or operation of other elements in a system. Bushings come in different types and are manufactured to meet specific requirements.

In many drilling operations, a kelly bushing is a mechanical device that turns a polygonal tubing known as a kelly, which is the mechanical component that turns the entire drill string. The bushing is essentially an adaptor, and its inside diameter matches that of the kelly.

A bushing inserted into a housing may be used to limit the size of an opening or resist abrasion. Types of bushings include solid (sleeve or flange), split or clenched. Dimensions of a bushing include the inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD), and length.

Motors and mechanical devices may include bushings and bearings similar to those found in a typical automobile. These are replaceable parts that allow for the extended life of the moving parts that they connect.

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