● A rod end bearing, also known as a heim joint (N. America) or rose joint (U.K. and elsewhere), is a mechanical articulating joint. Such joints are used on the ends of control rods, steering links, tie rods, or anywhere a precision articulating joint is required, and where a clevis end (which requires perfect 90 degree alignment between the shaft and the second component) is unsuitable. A ball swivel with an opening through which a bolt or other attaching hardware may pass is pressed into a circular casing with a threaded shaft attached. The threaded portion may be either male or female. The heim joint's advantage is that the ball insert permits the rod or bolt passing through it to be misaligned to a limited degree (an angle other than 90 degrees). A link terminated in two heim joints permits misalignment of their attached shafts (viz., other than 180 degrees).
● Rod ends consist of an eye-shaped head with integral shank forming a housing and a standard spherical plain bearing, or a spherical plain bearing inner ring, or a spherical plain bearing inner ring and a sliding layer between the bore of the head and the inner ring. As a rule, rod ends are available with left or right-hand female or male threads. Rod ends from JnSn have the sliding contact surface combinations steel-on-steel, steel-on-bronze, steel-on-PTFE composite material, and steel-on-PTFE fabric.
● Steel-on-steel and steel-on-bronze rod ends have very wear-resistant sliding surfaces and perform well under conditions of lubricant starvation. Rod ends with this sliding contact surface combination require regular relubrication. They are particularly suited for bearing arrangements where heavy alternating loads have to be accommodated.
● Maintenance-free (lubrication free) rod ends from JnSn have two different sliding contact surfaces: steel-on-PTFE composite material and steel-on-PTFE fabric (depending on the diameter of the shaft). Both have very low friction and can be operated without maintenance. They are used for applications where long bearing lives are required without maintenance, or where operating conditions, such as inadequate lubrication or the absence of lubrication make the use of steel-on-steel bearing inadvisable. The maintenance-free bearings are primarily intended for applications where loads are heavy and have a constant direction.