Bearings play a central role in the free and unrestricted movement of mechanical parts, from your car wheels to your skateboards and many more. Bearings withstand the weight of the load and make things move without any or with much less friction. Without bearings, mechanically functioning parts will malfunction and stick, hindering the 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 minimised. Here are a few tips for proper bearing maintenance to help ensure a longer lifespan:
- Careful Handling
Bearings are delicate enough to be damaged quickly. Therefore, it is very important that they are stored horizontally in a clean and dry environment with their packaging intact. Don’t expose them to any airborne contaminants, as even a tiny speck of dirt can lead to premature malfunction. Never slam 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.
- Inspect 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 accents are removed.
- Mounting the Bearings Properly
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.
- Thwart 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.
- Always use the Correct Tools
Specialised 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 minimise the risk of damage.
- 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’ll 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. Moisture can also lead to rust and corrosion.
- Correct 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.
Controlled Liquid Solutions specialises in servicing the pneumatic industry as well as mechanical seal industry. We are an ISO9001 rated seal division and deal with many of the top blue chip companies all around South-Africa. Additionally, Controlled Liquid Solutions manufactures and supplies mechanical seals and glandpacking to suit customer designs. We supply a wide variety of pumps and valves to suit our client’s needs.
Xpel-it has a built-in expeller that propels slurry / slurry particles and water prior to entering the 2nd chamber. The 2nd chamber has a built in lip seal that seals any liquid that bypasses the expeller.
Should any liquid still get past the lip seal Controlled Liquid Solutions’ Xpel-it has a close tolerance labyrinth design which creates a difficult leak path to the bearings, and retains the grease /oil in the bearing frame. This unique design provides protection from slurry water and other contaminants that can cause premature bearing failure. The pathway between the rotar and stator contains a channel that traps contaminants.