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Leonardo da Vinci Was the Father of the Bearing!?

wallpapers Industry 2021-03-15
It is believed that the reason humankind first evolved to walk bipedally was so our hands would be free to carry objects more effectively.
It would surely be no exaggeration to say that the desire to manipulate objects freely has been carried by humankind down through the ages and is a fundamental characteristic of humankind.
So, last time we explained how bearings serve the function of reducing friction and allowing objects to move more smoothly (that is to say, freely).
But when was it that bearings came to be, and how did they evolve and spread out over the earth?
In this part, we will introduce you to the amazing history of bearings.
1. What? Bearings were first used in the ancient world?
Since ancient times humankind has developed multiple ways of reducing friction. For now let's just look at the example of the building of the pyramids of Egypt.
The pyramids were built by standing huge, heavy stones one atop the other. The tremendous size of these rocks is astonishing: how on earth did the ancients move such heavy stones? The answer can be guessed at by examining ancient Egyptian wall paintings.
There are a number of wall paintings that depict the pyramid construction, and among those we can see logs being rolled underneath the massive stones. Scholars believe that by rolling these logs, friction was reduced, allowing for a relatively small amount of force to move these extremely heavy stones.
This method of transporting stones gave way to the idea that led to the rolling elements (rollers) that are used in bearings.
The records of humankind reducing friction down through the ages differ by time period and method used, but can nevertheless be seen all over the world. This is a testament to just how important reduction of friction to allow for smoother movement has been throughout human history.
2. So, wait ... Leonardo da Vinci was the one who first thought of using bearings with cages?
Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant artist from Italy, and one of the archetypal "Renaissance men". It would not be an overstatement to call him the "father" of the modern bearing.
Leonardo was incredibly passionate and curious about everything, and left a massive impression not just on the art world but also on the field of mechanical design. In one of his notebooks can be found a sketch of a bearing, in indispensable component of machinery.
This unparalleled ingenuity is what gave birth to the bearings that greatly reduce friction.
The structure is that of two rings (races), above and below, and rolling balls (rolling elements) stuck between the rings. Astonishingly, this sketch even includes a "cage" so that the balls do not come in contact with each other.
This is nearly identical to the structure of the bearings we continue to use today.
This "basic bearing structure" of races, rolling elements (a "ball" or a "roller") and a cage was thought up around 500 years ago. It was because of the genius of the Renaissance man Leonardo that bearings were able to achieve this monumental leap forward.
But even if he was able to discover this basic bearing structure, actually building and mass producing such a device was another matter.
For bearings to become widely used in machinery, we would have to wait for the Industrial Revolution.

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