11 May 2020

Dos and Don’ts on the Proper Handling of Bearings

Dos and Don'ts on the Proper Handling of Bearings
One of the universal facts about bearings is that they constantly deal with a lot of load. Being constantly exposed to pressure will directly affect its longevity and performance if not maintained well. Certain recommendations as to how it should be properly handled are to be followed as its quality is vital for machines to run efficiently. But it’s also important to note that certain automotive and industrial bearings do not need much maintenance as some such as DGBB, Pillow Block Bearings and more are relatively maintenance free. However, it’s crucial to handle them correctly because there are certain common practices that can shorten their functional lifespan. 

To avoid making such mistakes, it’s imperative to learn the dos and don’ts on the proper handling of bearings. Fortunately, as a trusted supplier of bearings in the MENA region, our technical expertise can give you a robust solution likewise a helpful guide to help you correctly handle our highly in-demand products. Please refer to the list below.

The Dos

Here are some things you can do to ensure the longevity and reliability of your bearings:

1. Do keep bearings in a clean and dry environment.

Contaminants such as dust and other types of dirt can greatly compromise the quality of bearings. So, when you need to install or store these until their time of use, do keep them in a clean and dry environment. It will also help to cover them to prevent particles in the air from contaminating them.

2. Do assign a specific storage space for your bearings.

Consider investing in compartmentalized cases to store bearings (that is, if you don’t always buy bearings as a set, since doing so means you automatically get a case). Likewise, line the compartments where you’ll keep the bearings with cushioning material. This is an effective strategy in reducing the risk of damage to the bearings. Compartmentalizing your product also gives you an advantage to easier stock control and inventory management.

3. Do clean your hands when handling bearings.

As mentioned above, contaminants are the major reason behind poorly performing bearings, which is why these products should be stored properly. Thus, installing or working with them with soiled hands is also a big no-no. Oil and dirt from your hands can likewise affect their quality; even your own sweat can harm the bearings because perspiration contains oil and acids.

Aside from cleaning your hands before handling bearings, you also have the option to handle them like trained professionals do, which is by using a fresh pair of talc-free surgical cots or gloves and wearing a lint-cap, shoe covers, and smocks.

4. Do use the right tools for installation.

Always follow the instructions for installation or removal for replacement, and only use the tools indicated in the instructions. This is because using the wrong tools can create scratches on the surface bearings, which may eventually result in more significant damage that can also compromise the mechanical parts surrounding the bearings. Certain manufacturers provide manuals with clear instructions as to how you can install your bearings without exposing it to shock or extreme force. In Mineral Circles Bearings, we provide robust support and technical tools and maintenance solutions for you to effectively perform the installation you’re looking forward to do all by yourself!

5. Do be extra careful in handling bearings.

As much as possible, do not handle the bearings along with other hard materials because any brushing or bumping motions involving other solids can scratch the bearings, and a scratch can easily grow into a bigger type of damage that can result in bearing failure. Strong impact typically leads to brinelling and cracking.

The Don’ts

If you want your bearings to work efficiently for longer, please keep the following in mind:

1. Don’t experiment with lubricants.

There are different kinds of lubricants on the market, and you may want to try them out — especially if they are cheaper than what you normally use — just to see if they will work. Your lubrication choice is paramount to your bearings’ overall lifespan and performance. Non-technical people don’t tend to heed this warning as they deem it unnecessary. As experts on bearings, we strongly advise against this practice because using the wrong lubricant can lead to severe damages not only for the bearings but also the surrounding parts. Stick to the specific lubricant recommended for your bearings.

2. Don’t leave rust untreated.

The moment you see rust forming on your bearings, treat it right away. There are anti-corrosion products that you can use to get rid of rust. Do not delay in using them because rust build-up can affect the operational quality of bearings. It can make running the machine noisy and likely to overheat quickly. Plus, rust is known to reduce lubrication life.

3. Don’t eat and smoke when you’re working with bearings.

Eating and smoking are activities that can expose the bearings to different contaminants. Food usually has grease, salt, and other sticky substances. Meanwhile, smoking cigarettes creates abrasive ash. Again, keep the work area clean and create a laminar flow for it, especially if certain processes involve handling other parts that may be soiled. So, if you must eat or smoke, do it before or after working.

4. Don’t forget to clean all the bearing tools you use.

It’s important to clean all the tools that you use for your bearings straight after use. Just putting these away without cleaning them and using them again on your bearings later will shorten the functional efficiency of bearings, and lead to build-up that can be difficult to clean. This build-up can be a mix of different kinds of dirt that can damage the bearings.

5. Don’t keep magnets near the bearings.

Using magnetic force for bearings is still quite a controversial topic. Some people think it’s helpful while some insist that it’s damaging. But for us, knowing how sensitive bearings are to dirt, it’s simply smarter to opt out of using magnetic tools because magnets can attract crud and also cause a build-up of dirt. Moreover, a strong magnetic force can pull at the bearings and scratch, or worse, crack their surface. 

6. Don’t force bearings into place.

If the bearing doesn’t fit where it’s supposed to go, it’s most likely the wrong type of bearing for the equipment. Do not force it into position because this will damage the bearings and the parts surrounding them.

The best way to mount bearings is to do it with great care to avoid any strong impact or shock. Also, when press-fitting a bearing, make sure to only apply force on the ring that is being fitted and not on the entire body. Certain tools are recommended to be used for you to perform this certain operation as this ensures precision, safety and security.

Care tips to ensure optimum bearing performance

Now that you know how bearings require special handling and care, you can use this guide to ensure their functional performance and longevity — and you can take our word for it. Our expertised seasoned with years of experience and shared technical knowledge positioned us as the leading distributor of top quality bearings in the UAE and the rest of the MENA region. Our unparalleled technical solutions and business culture centered in easing ways to do business with make us your great partner in any of your technical requirements. 

For more tips and other useful information about our products, please visit the MCB blog.