How To Properly Maintain Bearings

Bearings are common elements found in applications ranging from clocks to industrial machinery, implemented within assemblies to reduce friction between moving surfaces and to smooth rotational motion. While bearings serve to prevent the quick breakdown of various assemblies, they themselves can also face wear and tear over time. In order to maintain the service life and reliability of bearings, one must conduct regular maintenance and proper handling procedures.

When a bearing is first procured and is not immediately installed, it is crucial that the component is kept within a controlled environment that is maintained at room temperature, devoid of excess moisture, and clean. Maintaining bearings in their original packaging is very useful when they are not to be used right away, preventing them from coming into contact with various contaminants such as dust, dirt, moisture, and more. Furthermore, bearings should always be handled with care, and individuals should avoid dropping such components or exposing them to physical shock which may damage their housing and structures.

Once it comes time to begin installing or removing bearings, specialist tools should be used to avoid damage in the form of wear, denting, physical shock, etc. There are often tools that are specifically designed for handling bearings, an example being bearing pullers and induction heaters. Prior to mounting a bearing, the housing and shaft should be inspected for any damages and then all surfaces should be gently cleaned with a cloth. The mounting method for a bearing will often vary depending upon its type, such as whether it has tapered bores or cylindrical shafts. Additionally, mounting requires one to consider the application’s load type, speed, and vibration levels. If an incorrect installation is carried out, the rolling elements of certain bearings can quickly become damaged. While too tight of an installation is detrimental, so too is a loose fitting.

For a bearing to efficiently benefit an assembly, it requires proper lubrication. Lubrication failure is one of the most common causes of bearing failure, often resulting from either too much lubricants, too little, or using the incorrect lubricant type. Lubricants are typically selected based upon the application’s environmental temperature, load types, and speed. Corrosion is also a major factor of bearing failure, thus such components need to be protected from moisture and contaminants. Sweat from an individual can even pose a risk of corrosion so gloves should be worn when handling bearings to prevent their damage.

When a bearing begins to reach the end of its service life and requires replacement, the replacement bearing should either be an identical component or one with superior quality. If one chooses to implement the incorrect bearing or one of lower quality, failure can happen much quicker and result in more costly repairs for the assembly as a whole. To prevent bearing failures, such components should regularly be monitored for warning signs such as noise, increased vibrations, and other indications that there may be an issue. Bearing failures don’t normally occur immediately or without warning, thus monitoring is always very important.

If you are in need of top quality bearing components that you require for your operations, look no further than ASAP Fasteners. ASAP Fasteners is a trusted distributor of bearings, fasteners, connector parts, and aircraft parts that have been sourced from leading global manufacturers. Explore our vast offerings at your leisure, and our team of industry experts are readily on hand to help you through the purchasing process as necessary. If you would like a quote for your comparisons, fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.


January 6, 2021

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