Flexural Pivot Bearings for Frictionless Applications

Riverhawk Company designs and manufactures Free-Flex® Pivot bearings. The Free-Flex® Pivot is a simply packaged, compact, and easily installed limited rotation bearing with predictable and repeatable performance. This patented pivot fills the needs that standard lubricated bearings cannot meet, such as applications that do not permit lubrication yet demand precise positioning and require infinite life. It is a unique bearing concept for applications with limited angular travel of up to 60° (±30°) rotation. They are a frictionless alternative to roller element bearings, knife edge bearings, jeweled bearings, and similar devices. Unlike traditional bearings the mechanical properties of Flexural Pivots are predictable and do not degrade over time.

Cantilevered (Single-Ended) Pivot Bearings
Cantilevered (Single-Ended)
Pivot Bearings

Cantilevered (Single-Ended) Pivot Bearings

  • With one end fixed, the other end is free to rotate
  • Supports Overhung Loads
  • Used in Most Applications
  • 31 standard design offerings
  •
Cantilevered Cutaway
Cantilevered Cutaway
Double Ended Pivot Bearings
Double Ended Pivot Bearings

Double Ended Pivot Bearings

  • With both ends fixed, the center portion is free to rotate
  • Supports Suspended Loads
  • Carries Higher Radial Loads
  • 30 standard design offerings
  •
Double Ended Cutaway
Double Ended Cutaway
Double Linear Flexure Bearing
Double Linear Flexure Bearing

Linear Flexure Bearings

  • With block fixed, the other is free to Translate
  • Used in applications where reciprocating motion is desired
  • Custom Designed per application requirements
  • Self Centering spring return
  •
Single Linear Flexure Bearing
Single Linear Flexure Bearing
Life Cycle Graph

Life Cycle Curves

Pivot Bearing Advantages


  • Frictionless and Stiction-Free
  • Self-Returning (Self-Centering)
  • Does not Require Lubrication or Maintenance
  • Infinite Life
  •
Flex Pivot Applications


  • Mirror Mounting and Gimbal Rings
  • Interferometers and Weigh Scales
  • Vibration Sensors and Linkages
  • Automation and Robotic Joints
  •

If precision movement is required in sensing equipment, but the heat generated by friction from traditional roller bearings influences the data returned, our bearing is the answer. With no contacting surfaces and a self-centering torsional spring rate, the flex pivot does not require lubrication and is virtually frictionless; so no heat is generated.

Riverhawk Company also supplies bearings with application-specific modifications, such as grooves for adhesives and radial pin mounting, flanges, special plating and coatings, flats for set screws, and special thickness components for either increased/decreased stiffness or torsional spring rate. Special materials such as Custom 455 stainless, Inconel 718, Titanium, or Maraging steel have been used. Our engineering staff is ready to work with you on any special design or specific application requirements.

These bearings have been successfully used in millions of industrial, commercial and aerospace applications. The Free-Flex® Pivot is the original design that was patented by the Bendix Corporation in 1961.

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