White Paper: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Demystifying the 2:1 Ratio and the Stick-Slip Phenomenon


One of the most frequently misunderstood principles regarding the use of plain bearings is the 2:1 Ratio. Most engineers are taught this principle which states there is an allowable moment arm length to bearing length which cannot be violated or the application will fail. This paper explores the history, mathematical theories, practical limitations, and simple troubleshooting steps to effectively navigate the 2:1 Ratio.

Since the 2:1 Ratio was first introduced to the marketplace by PBC Linear (originally Pacific Bearing Company) in the 1990’s, it has been quickly adapted by most self-lubricating, linear plain bearing manufacturers as one of the guiding principles regarding their use. After reading this white paper, you should have a clearer understanding of the mathematics behind the 2:1 rule and a better comprehension of how to implement it.

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