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SHAFTS; FLEXIBLE SHAFTS; ELEMENTS OF CRANKSHAFT MECHANISMS; ROTARY BODIES OTHER THAN GEARING ELEMENTS; BEARINGS
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The elements of Subclass F16C are various general mechanical engineering elements or units which have in common that they all relate to:

conducting (transmitting) or supporting (guiding) load (force, torque) in combination with

controlled relative movement.

In general Subclass F16C it encompasses:

  • elongated mechanical engineering elements for transmitting rotary or linear or combined movement in combination with actuating or driving;
  • mechanical engineering elements to support relatively moving elements (rotating, pivoting or linear movement);
  • construction of rotating bodies in view of load due to movement (centrifugal load).

The elongated elements to transmit linear, rotary or combined movement, e.g. push-pull type movement, comprise:

  • Flexible shafts conveying rotary movement (torque);
  • Shafts (torque), telescopic shafts, crankshafts;
  • Cranks, eccentrics;
  • Mechanical means for transmitting movement in a flexible sheathing, e.g. Bowden cables;
  • Connecting-rods or links pivoted at both ends with similar function.

The supporting elements allowing relative rotary, linear or combined motion comprise:

  • Axles (to support a rotating body)
  • Crossheads
  • Crankshaft bearings
  • Connecting rod bearings
  • Pivots
  • Rolls, drums, discs
  • Bearings

Since the individual mechanical engineering elements of Subclass F16C are not a coherent group they will be defined individually in more detail below.

General distribution of subject-matter in Subclass F16C (index):

Flexible Mechanical elements for transmitting movement / force F16C 1/00

Rotary / Torque
Linear - Push/Pull
Flexible shafts F16C 1/02 ff.
mechanical in a flexible sheathing: F16C 1/10 ff.
Shafts, Axles, Cranks, Eccentrics: F16C 3/00
CrossheadsF16C 5/00
Connecting rodsF16C 7/00
Resisting rotary forceF16C 15/00

Support elements allowing relative displacement between parts

Bearings for crankshafts / connecting rods, F16C 9/00
Pivots: F16C 11/00
Bearings for rolls, drums discs: F16C 13/02
Rolls, discs: F16C 13/00
Bearings
Bearings with sliding or rolling contact
for rotary parts F16C 17/00 to F16C 27/08
for parts moving only linearly F16C 29/00
Aligning, Positioning
Wear / Play
Resilient
for parts which both rotate and move linearly, F16C 31/00
Other bearings (F16C32)
Magnetic
Hydrostatic

Details or accessories of bearings

Details orparts thereof
Lubrication
Sealing
Resilient support
Rigid Mounting; Housings
Cooling
Relieving load
Accessories
Assembling

Bearings are general mechanical engineering elements which support or guide and are adapted to position one part moving with respect to another part of an arrangement, i.e. to allow constrained relative motion between the two parts. One of the parts supports the load imposed thereon by the other part. The bearing is intended to reduce friction between the two relatively moving parts, which are typically larger than the bearing itself.

It is noted that apart from bearings many other objects, such as vehicle wheels, conveyor rollers etc., also meet the above criteria. These objects are classified elsewhere.

Further it is noted here that in general the expression "bearing" is also used for supports between parts which are (quasi) stationary.

Due to the lack of relative movement such bearing are not bearings in the sense of this section of Subclass F16C.

Apart from the bearings per se the section "bearings" also covers:

  • the direct surrounding of the bearing, i.e. the interaction of the bearing with the two relatively moving parts;
  • the individual parts of the bearing, such as sleeves, rolling elements, races, separators, cages;
  • materials suited for these parts,
  • methods specific for making the parts, as far as they are not covered by other groups,
  • details involving the proper functioning of the bearing such as sealings, lubrication, cooling, damping means, monitoring
  • parts, although not required for the bearing function, which are integrated in the bearing as far as the way they are integrated is of relevance.

Bearings are distinguished and classified in the respective groups and groups according to

  • the type of movement they allow
  • principle of operation
  • suitability for load direction.

Movement between the two parts:

  • rotary motion (e.g. of a shaft or axle)
  • linear motion (e.g. cross head, linear bearing)
  • oscillating respectively spherical movement
  • combined movements, e.g. helical

Principle of operation, i.e. the means to reduce friction:

  • sliding contact, e.g. plain bearings (bushings, journal bearings, sleeve bearings) including:
  • - dry operated sliding bearings relying on material selected to reduce friction (rubbing contact, solid lubricants);
  • - lubricated sliding bearings with lubricant separating parts;
  • - more particular bearings with pressurised fluid (gas or liquid) in the gap between the parts, i.e. making use of low viscosity:
  • -- pressurised by hydrodynamic effect (wedges, pressure generating grooves);
  • -- hydrostatically pressurised by external means;
  • rolling contact, e.g. with rolling elements such as balls or rollers rolling between the parts or rocking motion;
  • fields such as electromagnetic field, magnetic bearings.

Loads:

  • radial load
  • axial load
  • combined radial and axial load
  • lateral loads (linear bearings)

Combination of principles can be used within a bearing or bearing arrangement, e.g. to support different load directions or to take account of various operating conditions, e.g. speed.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Subclass F16C is a general function-orientated place.

The elements defined in F16C (shafts, connecting rods, pivots, rolls, bearings) are typical examples of function-oriented elements which are used in a wide variety of applications throughout all sections of the IPC.

Subclass F16C as part of Class F16 relates to "Engineering Elements or units". This limits the elements classified in F16C.

Further the elements in F16C are also strongly correlated to:

  • the materials or the half-products (Section C, Chemistry; Metallurgy) from which they are made, respectively
  • the processes used in their manufacture (Section B, Performing Operations).

Further it is noted that there is a strong correlation with the neighbouring Subclasses in Class F16 relating to other mechanical engineering elements.

Accordingly:

  • First it has to be established whether the relevant technical information relates to an engineering element or unit as defined in F16C.
  • Further, whether the relevant technical information is or could (also) be relevant for another Subclass.
  • Forwarding the document to one or more other technical fields, when the relevant technical information could be relevant for that field.
References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of these groups are covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Bearings for rotary parts ( groups F16C 17/00-F16C 27/00)

Bearings of rotating parts specially adapted for agricultural purposes
Bearings for threshing machines
Tomographs
Mounting or supporting mixing devices
Adaptation of roll bearings for rolling mills
Movable or adjustable work or tool supports with a mechanism with rotating pairs only
Swash plate in percussive tool
Portable power tools
Vehicle wheel hubs with ball or roller bearings
Arrangement of bearings of torque transmitting axles in axle units
MacPherson strut
Arrangements of mountings for shafting of transmissions in vehicles
Bearings for connecting-rods for driving wheels of railway locomotives
Axle boxes with bearings of rail vehicles
Bearings specially adapted for steering heads
Bearings for mounting spindles in spinning arrangements for imparting permanent twist
Bearings of bridges
Turntables in dredgers for soil-shifting
Bearings specially adapted for roller shutters or for roller blinds
Bearing, sealing, lubricating of drives used in bore holes (in earth drilling)
Details of bearings or lubricating of roller bits (drill bits in earth drilling)
Arrangement of bearings in rotary-piston machines or engines
Arrangement of bearings in non-positive displacement Machines or engines (turbines)
Turbochargers (gas turbines)
Arrangement of bearings in gas-turbine plants
Bearings in wind motors
Bearings in pumps (non-positive displacement),
Shaft support structure in gearing
Refrigeration machines
Bearings for gyroscopes
Bearings or suspensions for moving parts of measuring arrangements
Arrangements of bearings in weighing apparatus
Arrangements of bearings in instruments for measuring electric variables
Arrangements of bearings for apparatus for measuring time integral of electric power or current
Bearings in horology
Bearings for HDD (storage discs)
Structural association with bearings of dynamo-electric machines
Mounting arrangements for bearing-shields or end plates in electro-dynamic machines
Means for supporting bearings or for fitting them in the bearing-shield in electro-dynamic machines
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Materials or half products used in F16C

Layered products essentially comprising metal
Shaped ceramic products
Organic macromolecular compounds (plastics, resins)
Lubricating compositions
Alloys in general

Methods used in making parts in F16C

Manufacture by compacting/sintering metallic powder;
Composite articles of metallic powder (at least partly)
Build-up welding of surfaces
Build-up welding using laser beam
Connecting metal parts;
Grinding and polishing
B24
Injection moulding plastics;
Composites with reinforcements
Coating metallic material;Coating with metallic material
Electroplating

Parts or elements used in F16C

Rivets
Circlips
Screws
Springs
Suppression of vibration in rotating systems
Sealings between relatively-moving surfaces
Lubricating
Special rules of classification within this subclass

Relation with IPC classification rules

Reference is made to the paper copy of Volume 5 of the Eighth Edition (2006) of the International Patent Classification "Guide to the IPC" respectively the version of 2009 available as PDF-file on the site of the WIPO.

(http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/classifications/ipc/en/guide/guide_ipc_2009.pdf)

Chapters VIII to XI (paragraphs 75. to 155.) of this publication deal with the general classification rules of the IPC.

Predominant IPC classification rules in F16C

The IPC-guide refers to "invention information" (cf. paragraphs 77. and 78.).This definition is not followed, since "the addition to the prior art" of most documents at the time of publication is not clear. In Subclass F16C the criteria for classification derive from the following rules (cf. paragraphs 102. and 133. of the IPC-Guide):

  • Establishing relevant technical information from the document classified
  • Classifying this information in a way allowing efficient retrieval.

They apply to the classification of new documents as well as documents reclassified during reorganisation.

Warning: A large number of documents from the back file do not comply with the present criteria.

For efficient retrieval:

Most documents should preferably have two or more classification symbols (EC, Indexing Code not necessarily all in F16C):

  • one symbol to describe the general configuration (preamble type information, field of use), particular of the example(s) given and
  • one or more further symbols are used to identify the special technical features described in the document.

In exceptional cases one symbol could be sufficient, e.g. in small groups specifying both types of information or when the general configuration is defined too broad. In this context reference is made to Chapter IX of the IPC-guide.

The technical information is to be classified as specific as possible, i.e. as close as possible to the embodiments described.

For large documents, e.g. WO-publications based on multiple priorities, multiple symbols would be required particularly in view of non-unitary technical content.

However, when too many examples are given a more general classification symbol could be expedient.

Apart from the configuration of the subject to be classified per se, particular attention should be paid to the following topics:

  • the materials used,
  • the methods and processes used in making,
  • the half products and parts used and
  • the field of application.

These topics could, apart from classification in an appropriate F16C- group, also be made retrievable by a symbol in the corresponding Subclass when the technical content is considered relevant enough therefore. References to other Subclasses and groups are given below as relationships to other subject matter areas, limiting references relevant for classification and informative references.

Further since a major part of documents to be classified have no search report the corresponding sections of the IPC-guide are particular relevant, i.e. IPC-guide paragraphs 124. to 130. combined with the observations in paragraphs 131. to 134.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Rotary engineering element
Any engineering element, other than a rotating element used in gearing, clutches, couplings or brakes, which rotates so far as its features are affected only by the fact that it rotates.
Bearing
A component of a machine or mechanism that is positioned between two relatively movable elements of the machine or mechanism and that has a surface formed for sliding or rolling contact with these elements when they move relative to each other for the sole function of reducing the friction that would otherwise result from their relative movement.
Connecting-rodlink pivoted at both ends
A reciprocating or oscillating elongated member of a machine or mechanism that is intended to be pivotally connected to and positioned between two relatively movable elements of the machine or mechanism for the purpose of transmitting force or conveying motion between the elements when it reciprocates or oscillates.
Axle
An elongated element to support a rotating part, e.g. a wheel or roll. loads are bending moments and radial load. It may be stationary or rotating with the part fixed thereto.
Shaft
An elongated element, normally a rod of circular cross-section, that rotates about its longitudinal axis to transmit torque, e.g. by conveying motion from a gear wheel supported by it to another part of a machine or mechanism.
Crankshaft
A shaft with one or more cranks for turning reciprocating or oscillating motion into rotary motion.
Flexible shaft
An elongated element, that is bendable along its length and rotates about its longitudinal axis to transmit torque or convey rotary motion.
Bowden cable
A control cable consisting of an elongated member enclosed within a housing bendable along its length and shiftable along its longitudinal axis relative to its housing to transmit motion or force.
Roll, drum, disc
An element of a machine or mechanism in the form of a roller that has a generally curved surface that contacts work or (linear) moving part and revolves about its axis when the work shifts relative to it.
Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following expressions "sliding bearing", "sliding contact bearing", "slide bearing", "plain bearing", "gliding bearing", "friction bearing", "hydrodynamic bearing", and "fluid dynamic bearing" are often used as synonyms.

In patent documents the following expressions "rolling bearing", "antifriction bearing", "roller bearing", "rolling bearing", "rolling contact bearing", "ball bearing", "needle bearing" and "rolling element bearing" are often used as synonyms.

In patent documents the following expressions "linear bearing" and "linear motion guide" are often used as synonyms.

Flexible shafts (flexible shafts in dental machines for boring or cutting A61C 1/18); Mechanical means for transmitting movement in a flexible sheathing
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

There are two distinct groups of elements which, apart from being elongated and flexible, have a different function:

  • Flexible shafts conveying rotary motion, respectively
  • Flexible means to transmit push-pull movement.

The shaft itself or the transmitting means themselves provide flexibility.

It is noted that:

  • flexible shafts are functionally related to shafts (cf. F16C 3/00) which also convey rotary motion, i.e. are used as drive shaft, whereas
  • "Bowden mechanisms" are functionally related to connecting rods (cf. F16C 9/00) which are also built to transmit push-pull movements, i.e. they are typically used for control-movements.

The two groups of elements are thus related to different fields (see limiting and informative references below).

for conveying rotary motion
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Control cables for flexible medical endoscopes
Flexible shafts (in surgery instruments)
Endoscopic instruments
Flexible shaft in dental machines
Control cables for flexible technical endoscopes
Means for transmitting linear movement in a flexible sheathing, e.g. "Bowden mechanisms" (guiding-sheathings F16C 1/26)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Control cables for change-speed gearing control
Adjusting rear mirror by cables
Control cables for actuating brakes
Transmitting braking action using cables
Control cables for brake-actuating mechanisms specially adapted for cycles
Control cables for gearing speed-change mechanisms specially adapted for cycles
Operation of locks by Bowden cable
Movement transmitted by a cable in actuating mechanism of change speed or reversing-gearings
Control devices or systems insofar as characterised by mechanical features only
Synonyms and Keywords
Bowden cable
Control cable
Construction of flexible members moved to and fro in the sheathing
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Constructional features of ropes and cables
Means for fastening cables or ropes to one another or to other objects
Construction of guiding sheathings or guiding-tubes
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Supports for pipes and tubes
Tubes and pipes passing through walls
Shafts (flexible shafts F16C 1/00; marine propeller shafts, paddle wheel shafts B63H 23/34); Axles; Cranks; Eccentrics
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Flexible shafts
Camshafts

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Axle units; Parts thereof; Arrangements for lubrification of axles
Arrangement or mounting of transmissions in vehicles characterised by arrangement, location, or type of drive shafting, e.g. cardan shaft
Propeller shafts or paddle-wheel shafts for ships
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Forged or pressed shafts
Balancing shafts
Telescopic (axially displaceable couplings F16D 3/06)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Axially displaceable couplings
Crankshafts, eccentric-shafts; Cranks, eccentrics
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Crank gearings
Crank gearings with adjustment of throw

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Using cranks in rotary pistons
Shape of crankshafts or eccentric-shafts having regard to balancing
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Compensation of inertia forces of crankshafts
Elastic crank-webs; Resiliently mounted crank-pin (elastic connecting-rods F16C 7/04)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Elastic connecting-rods
Adjustable cranks or eccentrics (adjustable crank mechanisms F16H 21/20)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Adjustable crank mechanisms
Crossheads; Constructions of connecting-rod heads or piston-rod connections rigid with crossheads (piston-rods F16J 7/00)
Connecting-rods or like links pivoted at both ends (coupling-rods for locomotive driving-wheels B61C; inhibiting shift in gearing during unfavourable conditions F16H 61/16); Construction of connecting-rod heads (heads rigid with crossheads F16C 5/00)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Heads rigid with cross heads
Piston-rods, i.e. rods rigidly connected to the piston
Pivotal connection of pistons with connecting-rods
Inhibiting shift in gearing during unfavourable conditions

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Coupling-rods for locomotive driving wheels
Variable connecting rods in internal combustion engines
Varying compression ratio by alteration of piston stroke
Piston drive of fuel pumps
Actuating brakes by pistons
Gearing with links and levers
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Forged or pressed connecting rods
Synonyms and Keywords
Connecting-rod
conrod, con rod, piston rod
Bearings for crankshaft and connecting rods; Attachment of connecting rods (lubrication of connecting-rods in connection with crankshafts F16C 3/14; connections to crossheads F16C 5/00; to pistons F16J 1/14)
Crankshaft bearings
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Crankshaft bearings fitted in the crankcase
[N: the bearing cap of the connecting rod being split by fracturing (breaking machines for rings B23D 31/003)]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Breaking machines for rings, i.e. pre-cutting and subsequent breaking
Arrangements for adjusting play in bearings, operating either automatically or not (adjustable bearings in general F16C 25/00; adjusting arrangements in general F16H 57/00)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Bearings adjustable for play in general
Pivots; Pivotal connections (arrangements of steering linkage connections B62D 7/16)
Trunnions; Crank-pins (fastening crank-pins to webs, crank-pins integral with cranks F16C 3/06, F16C 3/22)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Fastening crank-pins to webs of crankshafts
Crank-pins integral with cranks
Pivotal connections (hinges for doors, windows or wings E05D; rubber springs with stiff outer sleeve and inner sleeve or pin F16F 1/38)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Articulated joints which are primarily designed to introduce push-pull movements to an elongated mechanical engineering element, such as connecting rods (cf. F16C 7/00) and "Bowden-cables" (cf. F16C 1/10).

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Hinges (for mounting plate like objects such as lids) are not pivotal connections as part of Subclass F16C (to mount end parts of rods or push-pull cables). Joints for transmitting torque are to be classified in F16D.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Hinges for doors, windows, or wings
Devices for moving wings into open or closed position
Yielding couplings, i.e. with means permitting movement between the connected parts during the drive
Rubber springs with stiff outer sleeve and inner sleeve or pin
Hinges of laptops
G06F1/16P2H
Hinges of mobile phones

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Joints in manipulators
Pivoted suspension arms
Arrangement of steering linkage connections
Pivots in dredgers for soil-shifting
Centre pivot of rocking arms
Pipe joints with hinge
Stands with attachment allowing pivoting
Hinges for spectacles
Ball-joints; Other joints having more than one degree of freedom; i.e. universal joints ([N: F16C 11/12 takes precedence]; for transmitting rotary motion F16D 3/00; supports for apparatus with ball-joint heads F16M 11/14)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Universal joints in which flexibility is produced by means of pivots or sliding or rolling connecting parts
Supports for apparatus with ball-joint heads
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Rolls, drums, discs or the like (guide rollers in feeding webs B65H 27/00; calender rolls, bearings therefor D21G 1/02; pulleys F16H 55/00; rotary drums or rollers for heat-exchange or heat-transfer apparatus F28F 5/02; special adaptations, see the relevant classes); Bearings or mountings therefor [N: Rotary drums or rollers for heat-transfer, heating or cooling rollers F28F 5/02]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Rotary bodies shaped substantially as a body of revolution, i.e. axisymmetrical bodies respectively bodies having rotational symmetry, with an outer or inner functional surface such as:

  • rolls
  • drums
  • discs.

The rotary body allows relative movement of another part or product tangentially along the rotary body, particularly along a linear path, i.e. it is used to support, transport and/or treat another part or product which moves relatively along the functional surface.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Rolls are only classified in group F16C 13/00 when the general built up of the roll itself is of relevance.

Most rolls, particularly those for treating material, are specifically designed for that purpose and are therefore to be classified in the appropriate field of application (see the references relevant to classification below).

Wheels which support vehicles to move along a path come within the ambit of the above definition of rolls, discs or the like in group F16C 13/00. However, wheels as dedicated complete systems, do not qualify as "engineering elements or units" in the sense of F16.

Vehicle wheels and castors are to be classified in Subclass B60B.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Treatment of products moving tangentially relatively to a roll

Shape or construction of rollers of roller mills
Rollers or balls co-operating with rings or discs for disintegrating
Using rollers to apply liquids
Rollers for hand tools for applying liquids
Rolls used in rolling of metal
Backing rolls acting on rolls to inhibit deflection of same under load
Adaptation of roll neck bearings of rolls used in rolling of metal
Deflection control of rolls used in rolling of metal
Bending sheet metal by drawing procedure making use of forming-rollers
Making tubes by bending sheet metal making use of forming-rollers
Rolls used in continuous casting of metals
Rollers for making articles of indefinite length in compression moulding
Rollers used in pressing for surface shaping
Producing rollers or cylinders
Presses characterised by the use of rotary pressing members, e.g. rollers, rings, discs
Embossing paper
Cylinders of printing machines
Construction of inking rollers in printing machines
Shells for rollers of printing machines
Rollers in drafting machines or arrangements (spinning or twisting)
Roll for heating or cooling yarn, thread, cord, rope, or the like
Rolls for calendering, pressing, ironing, glossing or glazing textile fabrics
Rolls, e.g. as guiding mechanism, in wet end of machines for making continuous webs of paper
Rolls, e.g. pressure rolls or suction rolls, in wet presses of the press section of paper making machines
Cylinders in dryer section of paper making machines
Rolls or their bearings in calenders
Rollers as part of ohmic resistance heating devices
Heated rollers with induction heating apparatus
Rolls, e.g. for developing or fixing, in apparatus for electrographic processes

Rollers used in supporting, transporting, respectively feeding or conveying

Rollers or wheels for sliding drawers
Wheels for roller skates
Rollers for supporting or handling sheets in typewriters or printers
Rolls used in conveying
Rollers for feeding articles separated from piles;Feeding articles to machines
Feed or guide rollers for handling thin or filamentary material
Construction of conveyor rollers for transporting hot glass sheets or ribbons
Balls as rolling elements in ball bearings
Rollers or needles as rolling elements in roller bearings
Rollers or pulleys in means for varying tension of belts, ropes, or chains
Rollers as cam followers
Toothed wheels
Chain wheels
Pulleys
Conveyor rollers in furnaces

Application oriented places for drums

Closed drums for drying solid material
Rolls, drums, cylinders of long length for drying material with progressive movement
Rotary drum furnaces
Rotary drums or rollers for heat-exchange or heat-transfer apparatus
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Making wheels or the like from sheet metal
Construction of rotating bodies to resist centrifugal force (flywheels, correction weights F16F 15/30, F16F 15/32)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Flywheels
Sliding-contact bearings for exclusively rotary movement (F16C 32/06 takes precedence; adjustable bearings F16C 23/00, F16C 25/00)
Relationship between large subject matter areas

Hydrostatic bearings are to be classified in F16C 32/06.

Other fluid bearings (hydrodynamic ) are to be classified in the appropriate place in F16C 17/00 and/or F16C 33/10.

Not all sliding elements are part of a sliding-contact bearing.

Also other sliding parts, e.g. parts of pistons and cylinders (cf. groups F16J 1/00 to F16J 10/00), sliding-seals (cf. group F16J 15/34+), valves (cf. subclass F16K) and toothed gear wheels (cf. subclass F16H) are sometimes referred to in a generalised way as sliding element, e.g. in the claims.

In such cases the description is to be checked to apply the correct subclass.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Bearing surfaces of pistons
Particular materials of piston rings
Bearings with rolling contact for exclusively rotary movement (adjustable bearings F16C 23/00, F16C 25/00; [N: electrically insulating bearings H02K 5/173])
with bearing balls essentially of the same size in one or more circular rows
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Ball bearings whereby all of the following requirements are met:

  • only balls are provided as load supporting rolling elements,
  • the balls are of essentially the same size,
  • the balls are provided in rows, and
  • the row(s) of balls are circular, i.e. the balls move along a full circle.
with bearing rollers essentially of the same size in one or more circular rows, e.g. needle bearings
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Roller bearings whereby all of the following requirements are met:

  • only rollers are provided as load supporting rolling elements,
  • the rollers are of essentially the same size,
  • the rollers are provided in rows, and
  • the row(s) of rollers are circular, i.e. the rollers move along a full circle.
Other types of ball or roller bearings
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Other types of rolling bearings include e.g. rolling bearings whereby:

  • the size of balls or rollers of one row differ substantially in size with respect to those of another row,
  • the balls or rollers are provided in an irregular array,
  • the balls or rollers are stationary but rotatable with respect to one of the relatively moving members, e.g. rollers giving local support at two or more points (cf. F16C 13/04),
  • the balls or rollers are provided in a partial circular row, i.e. with only partial enclosure of the member to be borne, e.g. with recirculation
  • the balls or rollers move along a helical path.

The other types of ball and roller bearings have in common that the following requirements of groups F16C 19/02 and F16C 19/22 (cf. corresponding definition statements above) do not apply, i.e. that:

  • the rolling elements are of essentially the same size,
  • the rolling elements are provided in rows,
  • the rows are circular, i.e. the rolling elements run in a full circle.
with devices affected by abnormal or undesired conditions
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Measures taken in view of conditions which are not normal, i.e. not relating to the proper functioning of the bearing at its operating speed, and which are not already covered by other groups. A few examples are:

  • starting or stopping
  • Brinelling;
  • creeping of rings, fretting;
  • corrosion.

Examples of groups dealing with a variety of undesired conditions:

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Force sensors associated with a bearing
Testing of bearings
Combinations of sliding-contact bearings with ball or roller bearings, for exclusively rotary movement (F16C 17/24, F16C 19/52 take precedence)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Hooke's joint with ball or roller bearings
Bearings for exclusively rotary movement adjustable for aligning or positioning (F16C 27/00 takes precedence; [N: hydrostatic bearings F16C32/06C7])
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Arrangements for adjusting play in crankshaft bearings
Arrangements for adjusting play in connecting-rod bearings
Bearings adjustable for wear and play Bearings for exclusively rotary movement adjustable for wear or play (F16C 27/00 takes precedence; [N: hydrostatic bearings F16C17/16C7])
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Measuring play on bearings
Elastic or yielding bearings or bearing supports, for exclusively rotary movement ([N: hydrostatic bearings F16C32/06C7; centrifuges B04B 9/12]; shock-damping bearings for watches or clocks G04B 31/02; [N: bearings for dynamo-electric machines H02K 5/16, H02K 7/08])
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Elastic hydrostatic bearings
F16C32/06C7
Shock-damping bearings for watches or clocks
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Centrifuges
Squeeze film damping
by means of parts of rubber or like materials (F16C 27/08 takes precedence; with sliding surface of rubber or synthetic rubber F16C 33/22; construction of units comprising rigid inner and outer members with rubber or the like between them F16F 1/38)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Bearings with sliding surfaces of rubber or synthetic rubber
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Construction of units comprising rigid inner and outer members with rubber or the like between them
Bearings for parts moving only linearly (F16C 32/06 takes precedence; incorporated in flexible shafts F16C 1/28) [N: parts of bearings in general and special methods for making bearings or parts thereof in general F16C 33/00]
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Complete systems such as railways and conveyor systems are similar to linear bearings (F16C 29/00) but do not qualify as "engineering elements or units" in the sense of Class F16. They are dealt with in the appropriate parts of "Transporting" in Section B, particularly in Subclass B61 ("Railways") and B65 ("Conveying; ... ").

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Slides or guides for drawers in furniture
Arrangement of ways in the general build-up of a machine tools
Movable or adjustable work or tool supports
With sliding pairs only
Slide constructions in car seats
Fluid actuated devices
Optics
Apparatus for microlithography
G03F7/20T
Positioning in chip manufacture
Arrangements for covering or protecting the ways [N: (protective coverings for parts of machine tools B23Q 11/08)]
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Protective coverings for parts of machine tools
Arrangements for locking the bearings (preventing relative movement between machine parts in general F16B, e.g. F16B 1/00)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Means for securing sliding members in any desired position
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Preventing relative movement between machine parts in general
Bearings for parts which both rotate and move linearly
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Screw mechanisms, e.g. with balls or rollers

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Movable tool or work supports with sliding pairs and rotating pairs
Bearings not otherwise provided for
using magnetic or electric supporting means [N: not yet used, see F16C 39/00]
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Magnetic levitation devices

Examples of places where the subject matter of this group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Blood pumps
Magnetic suspension or levitation of vehicles
Railway systems with sliding or levitation systems
Vacuum pumps
Fluid pumps with magnetic bearings
Pumps for elastic fluid with magnetic bearings
Flywheel systems;
Electro-motor with magnetic bearings
with moving member supported by a fluid cushion formed, at least to a large extent, otherwise than by movement of the shaft, e.g. hydrostatic air-cushion bearings
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

This subclass/group covers:Details for all types of bearings, i.e. they are not limited to rotary sliding contact or rolling element bearings but, as far as applicable, they also cover the other bearing types (e.g. linear, magnetic, hydrostatic etc.).

Parts of bearings; Special methods for making bearings or parts thereof (metal-working or like operations see the relevant classes) [N: acoustic levitation G10K 15/00]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Materials

Making alloys by powder metallurgy
Alloys based on copper
Alloys based on tin
Alloys based on nickel or cobalt
Alloys based on aluminium
Making ferrous alloys by powder metallurgy
Ferrous alloys (steel)

Methods used in making parts of bearings

Flanging or other edge treatment, e.g. of tubes by action of pressing tools
Making parts of bearings by working or processing of sheet metal or metal tubes, rods or profiles without essentially removing material or punching
Making cages for bearings by working or processing of sheet metal or metal tubes, rods or profiles without essentially removing material or punching
Upsetting (working sheet metal);
Riveting (working sheet metal)
Making rings for balls or roller bearings by rolling metal
Making balls, rollers, cone rollers, or like bodies for bearings by rolling metal
Making balls or rollers for bearings by forging or pressing
Making ball races by forging or pressing
Making cages by forging or pressing
Casting using a mould or core of bearing shells
Treating or finishing surfaces mechanically, e.g. smoothing or roughening of bearings
Producing bushes for bearings from plastics or from substances in a plastic state
Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, hardening, quenching, tempering, adapted for rings or bearing races
Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, hardening, quenching, tempering, adapted for rings or bearing races
Changing the physical structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working
Electroplating of bearings

Other

Lubrication in general
Sliding surface consisting mainly of rubber or synthetic rubber (F16C 33/24 to F16C 33/28 take precedence; of interest apart from the surface itself F16C 27/06)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Elastic or yielding bearings whereby rubber is of interest apart from the surface itself
Sealings (sealings in general F16J)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Bearings with details of the sealing arrangements.

Seals specifically constructed to be incorporated in or which are directly associated with bearings.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Sealings in general
Rigid supports of bearing units; Housings, e.g. caps covers (F16C 23/00 takes precedence; elastic or yielding supports F16C 27/00) [N: limited to particular constructions for the support of bearings for rotating shafts or spindles, e.g. turbines, electric motors, textile machines]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Mounting of a bearing to surrounding parts in a fixed way.

Housings such as bearings shields which can be handled as a unit together with the bearing.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Mounting of bearings which is not rigid, i.e. in such a way that they are adjustable for position, alignment, wear or play with respect to the housing or with resilient support, are to be classified in the appropriate places for rotary bearings in groups F16C 23/00, F16C 25/00 and F16C 27/00 respectively for linear bearings in F16C 29/00.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Hand tools for inserting or withdrawing sleeves or bearing races
Devices for fastening in general
Attachment of a member on a shaft
Cooling of bearings [N: (safety devices in general F16P)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Means to remove heat from the bearing area, i.e. by radiation, conduction or heat exchange, excluding cooling lubricant or by means of lubricant (cf. groups F16C 33/10 and F16C 33/66).

Relieving load on bearings [N: (on bearings in electric meters G01R 1/10, G01R 11/12; permanent magnets H01F 7/02; shaft-bearings in dynamic pumps F04D29/04P; levitation smelting H05B 6/32)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Means exerting a force on the relative moving part directed against the load and cooperating in the load direction with the actual bearing which attains the desired position.

Means providing a preload on the bearing, which could be considered as negative relief, actually serve to reduce play and are e.g. to be classified in the appropriate groups (e.g. F16C 25/00, F16C 29/12, F16C32/06C7).

Other accessories
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Elements which are not directly related to the bearing function, i.e. parts mounted to or integrated with the bearing but providing an additional functionality such as speed sensors, as far as there integration in the bearing is of relevance.

Load-equalizing elements.

Elements involved in protecting the bearing when not in use.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Means for measuring angular speed mounted in bearings
Assembling bearings
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Joining of the parts of a bearing, optionally simultaneously with mounting. It also embraces joining bearing parts which are split.

For a slide bearing this involves typically joining bearing bushes, shells and washers; optionally providing other parts such as seals.

For a rolling element bearing this involves typically providing rolling elements between the races, optionally providing other parts such as cages and seals.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Machines or tools for assembling parts
Devices for fastening in general
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Last Modified: 10/11/2013