Bearing surface

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A bearing surface in mechanical engineering is the area of contact between two objects. It usually is used in reference to bolted joints and bearings, but can be applied to a wide variety of engineering applications.

On a screw the bearing area loosely refers to the underside of the head.[1] Strictly speaking, the bearing area refers to the area of the screw head that directly bears on the part being fastened.[2]

For a cylindrical bearing it is the projected area perpendicular to the applied force.[3]

On a spring the bearing area refers to the amount of area on the top or bottom surface of the spring in contact with the constraining part.[4]

The ways of machine tools, such as dovetail slides, box ways, prismatic ways, and other types of machine slides are also bearing surfaces.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith 1990, p. 38.
  2. ^ Fastener terms, archived from the original on 2008-11-02, retrieved 2009-06-29.
  3. ^ Low & Bevis 1908, p. 115.
  4. ^ Helical Compression Spring Terminology, retrieved 2009-06-29.