The Benefits of Sealed Ball Bearings

A bearing is a machine element that controls relative motion and reduces friction between moving parts. The majority of bearings facilitate a desired motion by minimizing friction. Bearings are classified broadly according to the type of operation, the motions allowed, or to the directions of the forces applied to the parts. One type of bearing, sealed ball bearings, differ greatly from open or shielded ball bearings. The main difference is that they cannot be re-lubricated once lubricant has broken out or begun to leak. Despite this feature often leading to a shorter lifespan when compared to properly maintained open or shielded bearings, sealed bearings have several benefits over other types of ball bearings. The three chief benefits of sealed ball bearings are that they require no maintenance, are not susceptible to contaminants, and cannot be over-lubricated.

In order to properly maintain unsealed ball bearings, they must be maintained and regularly lubricated. Lubrication is critical in preventing failure. Sealed bearings, however, do not require regular lubrication. Lubrication is done by the manufacturer and users will not have to do it again at any time. No matter where these bearings are being used, their lack of need for maintenance will save labor and make them suitable for use in less-accessible areas. Normal unsealed bearings, when being re-lubricated, will require you to partially disassemble surrounding components to carry out the repair. With sealed bearings, you will never have to worry about this.

Another benefit of sealed ball bearings is that, because they are sealed, they cannot become contaminated. Contaminants add to the changes of wear and tear, drastically reducing the lifespan of machine parts. The raceways in traditional unsealed bearings, which allow for lubricant, also allow contaminants to make their way into the bearing.Sealed bearings have no entrances for contaminants as long as the seal is intact. This also keeps lubricant inside. However, If the seal is broken, the bearing can fail.

The third advantage of sealed bearings is that you cannot accidentally over-lubricate them. As stated, lubricating is done by professionals at the manufacturing facility. This is important because unsealed bearings fail frequently due to over-lubrication. Additional grease or other lubricants should never be added to sealed bearings. It may also be helpful to properly label any machinery where sealed bearings are used, reminding technicians not to lubricate the bearings.

There are two types of sealed ball bearings: contact and non-contact. Contact seal bearings touch the inner race on which the ball bearings rotate. This helps in preventing the accumulation of moisture, but also speeds up wear and tear and leads to higher operating temperatures. Non-contact bearings do not touch the inner races, resulting in lower friction and lower operating temperatures. However, non-contact bearings do not exclude moisture as effectively as contact bearings.

Although sealed bearings are less common than standard unsealed bearings, their popularity has seen significant increase in recent years. Today, you can find sealed ball bearings in use throughout cars, power tools, and appliances, as well as the aircraft and industrial markets.

ASAP Fasteners provides high-quality sealed ball bearings along with aircraft standard parts, aircraft bearings, aircraft fasteners parts, NSN Parts, and connector parts for various military and civilian applications. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of unique parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. Our dedicated account managers are standing by and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


January 6, 2021

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