Practical ways of choosing the right grease for bearings
Selecting the correct grease is as equally important as choosing the right type of bearing for optimum machine efficiency.
Fact or myth?
According to Machinery Lubrication magazine, premature bearing damage is mainly caused by external factors such as extreme operating environment, improper installation, and incorrect greasing or lubrication. Guess which one topped the list?
You guessed it right! Incorrect lubrication accounts for about 50% of bearing failures that results to equipment malfunction and eventually, disruption of operations.
No need to worry though as you’ll get preventive tips as you read through.
Information from the right sources
Check your machine’s OEM specifications such as operating environment and load rating.
Bear in mind that any increase in temperature, whether environment related or brought about by heavy loads, results to grease losing its thickness or viscosity that causes it to leak out of the bearing thus creating damage to other components.
Better yet, choose a credible supplier that provides technical expertise and local support. Wouldn’t it be great to have an in-house engineer within your reach?
What about heavy machinery?
If you’re operating a heavy equipment in areas with high humidity and hot temperatures, it’s best to choose a quality lubrication solution such as NTN-SNR’s HEAVY DUTY EP3 High Load grease.
With special formulation, this innovative product suits trucks, construction machinery, and other heavy equipment operating under extreme environmental conditions such as here in Middle East and Africa (MEA).
- Mineral oil (Base Oil)- is a heavier type of oil suitable for industrial applications
- Lithium soap (Thickener)- has excellent binding properties with the base oil enabling optimum resistance to high temperatures, speed, and load
- Extreme Pressure/EP (Additives) – has chemical ingredients that provide better bearing protection against heat and premature wear
- Grade 3 consistency (NLGI rating)- gives grease its stiffness or rigidity thus preventing leakage
To know more, click here for the material safety data sheet (MSDS).
Proper lubrication Tips
Last but not the least, follow these grease application best practices to ensure excellent bearing performance and efficiency.
- Observe cleanliness– Keep your work area clean as pollutants can cause premature bearing failure
- Right grease quantity works-As a general rule, lubricate only 30% of the bearing’s empty spaces to prevent overheating.
- Use the right method– Ensure equal grease distribution by spinning the bearing by hand before installation or by using tools such as a grease gun