Using Bearings Lubrication for Optimal Machine Performance

Using Bearings Lubrication for Optimal Machine Performance


While there are many different types of bearings, each plays an important role such as handling varying degrees of loads with the support of grease or lubricants.

The correct application of bearings lubrication is vital to the optimal performance of a machine. Lubricants serve to prevent the metal to metal contact of a bearing’s components, thus preventing corrosion and wear. Other supplementary functions include heat regulation and protection against contaminants or pollutants.

Lubricant usage

The selection of lubricant is based on a bearing’s desired application and performance as well as the following:

  • Operating temperature
  • Base oil viscosity
  • Speed factor
  • Load ratio

While multi-purpose grease is applicable for general usage in automotive and industrial bearings, it sometimes lacks the lubrication requirements for some applications. In these cases, certain types of solutions have been tailored to precisely meet these demands.

There are two main types of lubricants: grease and oil.

●   Within rolling bearing applications, grease is the preferred lubricant. The consistency of grease allows an effective sealing function that minimizes leakage and keeps contaminants away from bearing assemblies. It’s also easier to apply and maintain than its oil counterpart. Grease affords simple assembly, requiring less costly maintenance and monitoring regardless of high speeds and temperatures.

●  In industrial applications, oil lubricant is used. Its efficiency in heat distribution and good chemical plus physical stability makes it ideal for high rotation or high load bearings. As it flows better than grease, oil volume in machine components can be regulated, controlled, and changed without disassembly. Oil can then be handled safely and disposed of with minimal impact on the environment.

Benefits of correct lubrication

According to top bearing manufacturer, NTN-SNR, one of the ways to ensure optimal machine performance in any mechanical assembly is with appropriate lubrication.

Proper lubrication prolongs the overall service life of bearings. This however is dependent on several factors such as heat capacity, resistance to vibration, type of lubricant, as well as load and speed capacity.

The right lubricant for the right job will reduce friction and abrasions. Not to mention, it can also easily regulate heat while preventing contaminants and foreign objects from entering the bearing’s components .

Effects of improper lubrication

As a key factor in determining bearing service life, there are several effects of improper lubrication. Whether it’s too much quantity, too little, or using the incorrect type, this often leads to machine malfunction and decreased product output.

Lastly, excess lubrication can cause an immediate rise in temperature which results in premature bearing failure. Inadequate application meanwhile can bring about abrasion, friction, and fatigue to bearings.

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