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What Is The Difference Between Bearing Shaft, Pump Shafting & Ground Shaft?

Shafts are an important part of many mechanical systems, including pumps, engines and machinery. They act as a medium for power transmission between various components such as gears, pulleys and wheels. Shafts are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, and their selection is determined by the specific needs of an application.

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between three types of shafts: bearing shafts, pump shafting and ground shafts.

What are shafts?

Shafts are mechanical components that act as a medium for power transmission between various parts such as gears, pulleys and wheels. They are long, cylindrical rods that spin around an axis and are available in many different shapes, dimensions, sizes and materials.

Shafts are used in all sorts of applications including pumps, engines and machinery, and they are essential to the effective operation of these systems. The diameter of a shaft is critical to its strength and stiffness, and the proper shaft length is determined by looking at application requirements such as load, speed, temperature and environment.


Shaft diameter

The diameter of a shaft is important for its strength and stiffness. The bigger the diameter of a shaft, the stronger it is in general. The shaft diameter, on the other hand, must be suitable for the bearings or other components that will be put on it.

A shaft that is too small for the desired load might cause premature wear and system failure. A shaft that is overly large, on the other hand, might add additional weight and cost to the system. As a result, selecting the proper diameter is crucial for assuring the mechanical system’s best performance and lifespan.

What is a bearing shaft?

A bearing shaft is a sort of shaft that helps to sustain rotating machinery components, including gears, pulleys and wheels. It is intended to transfer torque and radial stresses from the component to the bearings, reducing friction and wear.

Bearing shafts can be made of a variety of materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel and alloys. The material chosen is determined by the individual application requirements such as speed, temperature and corrosiveness of the environment.

What is pump shafting?

Pump shafting is a form of shaft that is used in pumps – machines that transport fluids by mechanical action. Pump shafting experiences significant torque and axial loads, which can result in bending, fatigue and wear.

As such, pump shafting must be constructed with high strength and stiffness as well as exceptional resistance to corrosion and wear. Pump shafting is commonly made of stainless steel, duplex stainless steel and high-strength alloys.

What is a ground shaft?

A ground shaft is a shaft that has been machined to exact tolerances for great accuracy and surface polish. Ground shafts are used in applications that demand exactness, in products such as precision instruments, machine tools and aircraft components.

Grinding the surface of ground shafts removes any flaws, such as scratches, nicks or burrs, all of which can influence the accuracy and effectiveness of the system. Ground shafts can be made of many different materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and tungsten.

Choosing the right shaft material

The shaft material is chosen based on a number of considerations, including cost, wear and corrosion resistance. These are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right shaft material for your needs.


The cost of the shaft material is an important factor to consider because it can affect the overall cost of the mechanical system. Going with a cheaper shafting choice may not be appropriate if it doesn’t fit the demands of the application. Because of its great corrosion resistance, stainless steel is a popular material for shafts, but it tends to be more expensive than carbon steel.

Alloy steels are another choice that can provide high strength and wear resistance, but again, they are more expensive than standard steels.


Another significant factor to consider when choosing a shaft material is wear. High-wear components, such as pump shafts, require materials that can tolerate abrasive and erosive wear under heavy loads. If the shaft is too rough, war can become a significant problem – overly rough shafting acts like a file, separating small particles from the bearing’s surface during movement. Overly smooth shafts can cause an increase in friction, due to adherence between shafting and bearing surfaces.

Due to their exceptional wear resistance, duplex stainless steel and high-strength alloys such as hastelloy and inconel are often used for pump shafting.

Corrosion resistance

Corrosion resistance is crucial for corrosive-environment components, such as pumps that handle corrosive fluids. Because of their great corrosion resistance, stainless steel and alloys such as inconel and monel are typically used for shafts in harsh conditions.

However, additional considerations must be taken into account when selecting a suitable shaft material. This includes the temperature, pressure and chemical composition of the fluid being handled.

Which one is best for your application?

The type of load, speed, temperature and climate all play a role in selecting the right shaft for your application. Bearing shafts are often employed in applications where rotating equipment components require support. Conveyor belts, turbines and electric motors are examples.

Pump shafting is used in pumps with high torque and axial loads, such as those used in the oil and gas industry, chemical processing and wastewater treatment.

Ground shafts are suited for precision instruments, machine tools and aerospace components, where great accuracy and surface smoothness are necessities.


Final thoughts

Shafts are an important component in many mechanical systems, and their selection is determined by the unique application requirements. Bearing shafts, pump shafting, and ground shafts are three common types of shafts. Each one has its own set of characteristics and applications.

The appropriate shaft material to use is determined by various parameters, including cost, wear and corrosion resistance. Careful evaluation of these aspects is critical for maintaining mechanical system performance and maximizing its lifespan.

Metal Supermarkets

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At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, tool steel, alloy steel, brass, bronze and copper.

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