How You Can Extend Bearing Life With Proper Lubrication Maintenance

The two main purposes of lubrication are to minimize friction and reduce wear.  Over time, direct contact between the bearings’ ring, rolling elements and cage can cause flaking and lead to premature bearing failure.  But fatigue life can be extended with proper lubrication maintenance.

Flaking occurs when small pieces of bearing material are split off from the smooth surface of the raceway or rolling elements. Flaking on only one row of raceway has occurred in the inner ring of a spherical roller bearing due to poor lubrication.

Flaking occurs when small pieces of bearing material are split off from the smooth surface of the raceway or rolling elements. Flaking occurred on one row of the raceway on this inner ring of a spherical roller bearing due to poor lubrication.

According to our Bearing Maintenance Guide, the rolling fatigue life of bearings depends greatly upon the viscosity and film thickness between the rolling contact surfaces.  A heavy film thickness can prolong the fatigue life, but will be considered insufficient if the viscosity of the oil is too low.

I need bearing to withstand high temperatures.

Circulation lubrication can be used to carry away high heat to prevent bearings from overheating and the oil from deteriorating.

My application requires a bearing that can perform in a heavy contaminated environment.

Lubrication helps prevent foreign material from entering into and between bearings’ ring, rolling elements and cage minimizing rust and corrosion.

Keeping these lubrication maintenance tips in mind in addition to establishing a replenishment schedule will extend bearing life, optimize efficiency and maximize productivity.

For more information about achieving optimal bearing performance, download NSK’s Bearing Doctor – the definitive guide to identifying and preventing bearing failures.

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