Bearings, Lubricants & Seals…they are often considered as three separate components how-ever really they should be thought of as one.
In any given application they are each only as reliable as the other two.
If the bearing isn’t able to perform at the given load, speed, temperature, the result is bearing failure.
If the seals fail the lubricant does not stay in the bearing, the result is bearing failure.
Often however the bearing lubricators is the ‘weakest link’ if it is not suitable for the Speed, Load, Temperature, or any other environmental factor, the result is the same…bearing failure.
How do we avoid the lubricant being the ‘weakest link’ ? Well first of all we need to analyse what we expect of the lubricant by asking some simple questions…
- What speed is the bearing to be used at, speed factor ?
- What loads act on the bearing?
- What is the maximum and minimum temperature that the bearing will experience?
- What is the nominal operating temperature?
- Are there any chemicals, solvents, acids etc orother environments that the lubricant willhave to withstand?
- Re-lubrication, is this possible? If so how often and what is the life requirement?
Once these questions have been answered we need to decide the appropriate lubricant to give the expected life within these conditions.