Rod end bearing
A rod end bearing, also known as a heim joint (N. America) or rose joint (U.K. and elsewhere), is a mechanical articulating joint. Such joints are used on the ends of control rods, steering links, tie rods, or anywhere a precision articulating joint is required. A ball swivel with an opening through which a bolt or other attaching hardware may pass is pressed into a circular casing with a threaded shaft attached. The threaded portion may be either male or female.
The spherical rod end bearing was developed by the Germans in World War II. When one of the first German planes to be shot down by the British in early 1940 was examined, they found this joint in use in the aircraft's control systems. The H.G. Heim Company was given an exclusive patent to manufacture these joints in North America, while in the UK the patent passed to Rose Bearings Ltd. The ubiquity of these manufacturers in their respective markets led to the terms heim joint and rose joint becoming synonymous with their product. After the patents ran out, the common names stuck although "rose joint" remains a registered trademark of Rose Bearings Ltd. Originally used in aircraft, the rod end bearing may be found in cars, trucks, race cars, motorcycles, lawn tractors, boats, industrial machines, go-karts, radio-control helicopters, and many more applications.
- History of the Heim Joint - AKA Rod End Bearing
- Howard, K. 1999. Technofile: The rod end bearing. Motor Sport. LXXV/8 (August 1999), 70-71