Bearings are precision machined elements that operate in a high-precision environment and the correct handling of a bearing is essential for achieving maximum performance.
Storage recommendations are advisable when handling bearings to ensure overall good maintenance.
Bearing performance is determined not only by the careful selection of a high-quality bearing type but also by its appropriate mounting, therefore precautions should also be considered before mounting a bearing.
Bearing rings, rolling elements and cage are subjected to high levels of rolling and sliding friction. Friction may cause damage to the bearing and, as a result, shorten its service life. Lubricants use a very thin layer of oil to separate rolling and sliding surfaces. Therefore, the proper selection of lubricant and lubrication method is imperative to a bearing’s performance and operational life.
Lubrication can either be oil-based or grease-based. A guide on selecting oil and grease lubricants is advised for the different application conditions.
Lubricants primarily provide the following functions reduce frictional damages and extend a bearing’s productive life:
– the rolling end and guide faces of bearing
– the rolling elements and cage
– the cage and raceway guiding surfaces
Bearings do not fail suddenly. This is a well-known fact. However, bearing failures may occur due to environmental factors, misapplication, or the quality of the bearing itself. The detection of a bearing failure can be linked to noises, vibrations, external indication of damage, rise in temperature and increased rotational torque.
When to replace a bearing?
This can vary considerably as from the initial damage of the bearing until the bearing becomes unserviceable solely depends on the handling, mounting, lubrication and preventative measures to preserve a bearing.