An elastomeric bearing is fabricated of an elastomer, which permits movement of the structure it supports. It is provided for oscillatory motion, which is also capable of operation as a slider bearing under high radial loads and for large motions. This bearing consists of concentric bearing members with opposed recesses forming a cavity for a mass of elastomeric material bonded to the bearing members. The bearing members have opposed bearing surfaces normally spaced apart a predetermined distance, and restraining members are provided on each side of the elastomeric material to limit its axial deflection.
Elastomers are long polymer chains above their glass transition temperature. Elastomers are usually lightly cross-linked and are easily deformed. The long polymer chains cross-link during curing. The molecular structure of elastomers can be imagined as a 'spaghetti and meatball' structure, with the meatballs signifying cross-links. The elasticity is derived from the ability of the long chains to reconfigure themselves to distribute an applied stress. The covalent cross-linkages ensure that the elastomer will return to its original configuration when the stress is removed.