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Tips for Proper Bearing Maintenance Cheat Sheet by

How to maintain Ball Bearing for extended life
tips     ball     maintenance     bearing

Introd­uction

Bearings play a signif­icant role in the free and unrest­ricted movement of mechanical parts or compon­ents, from your car wheels to your skateb­oards as well as many other things too. Bearings bear the weight of the load and make things move without any or with much less friction. In a world without bearings, mechan­ically moving parts will malfun­ction and stick, preventing smooth operation. Bearing life can be affected based on the type of bearing, the load they are asked to carry and the mainte­nance schedule. Properly mainta­ined, bearing life can be extended and downtime can be reduced.

1. Handle with care

Bearings are delicate enough to get damaged quickly. As such, it is very important that they are stored horizo­ntally in a clean and dry enviro­nment with their packaging intact. Do not expose them to any airborne contam­inants, as even a tiny speck of dirt can cause premature failure. Never hammer or pound them, or apply a direct force on it or its outer ring, which can cause damage to the rolling elements, resulting in misali­gnment. The most important thing to remember is to never remove bearings from their packaging until ready for use.

2. Check the bearing housing and shaft

Whenever a bearing is used for mounting, it is crucial that the housing and shaft are inspected for any sort of physical condition or damage. Always use a soft cloth to wipe the surfaces clean and make sure any nicks and burrs are removed.

3. Mount the bearings correctly

The method used to mount the bearings depends on the type of bearing. For example, bearings with cylind­rical bores are generally mounted through a press fit method. Bearings with tapered bores can be mounted directly on tapered or cylind­rical shafts with the use of tapered sleeves. However, pressure should be applied only with a press fit because without it the raceways can become damaged.
 

Bearings

4. Avoid preheating or overhe­ating

The maximum heating allowed on the bearings depends on the heat treatment of the material. If they are heated above the permitted limit, they can perman­ently deform or soften the bearing steel, lowering load carrying capacity and resulting in a failure. Always heat the bearings using induction heaters, and never with an open flame

5. Always use the proper tools

Specia­lized tools like bearing pullers, bearing fitting tool kits, oil injector kits, hydraulic nuts, or induction heaters should be used in the mounting and dismou­nting processes. These tools ensure the smooth process of mounting or dismou­nting, in order to minimize the risk of damage.

6. Avoid corrosion

It is crucial that you should not expose bearings to the presence of water for a long time, as it will lead to rust and corrosion. It will also cause the premature failure of the bearings, which can affect the machine perfor­mance and produc­tivity. As a result, it will increase your operating costs. Also, make sure to wear gloves when handling bearings. Perspi­ration can also lead to rust and corrosion.

7. Proper lubric­ation

If you want to have a prolonged life of your bearings, it is crucial that they should be properly lubric­ated. The correct lubricant depends on the enviro­nmental condit­ions, temper­ature, speed and load. In this case, it is advisable that you should follow your manufa­ctu­rer's recomm­end­ations.

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