How to extend the lifespan and improve the performance of bearings
Date: September 9, 2013
First of all, lubrication is very crucial to the lifespan and performance of bearings. You need to select a proper lubrication system and high quality lubricant. Lubricant oil film will separate the contact oil film surfaces caused by loading and provide proof against corrosion and abrasion. Therefore lubrication oil film cannot be missing for normal running of all rotating and reciprocating moving parts, esp. bearings and gears. Oil film can also transfer heat for splashing lubrication and circulating lubrication systems. 
 
Unnecessary machine halt and equipment condition worsening frequently take place in factories due to improper lubrication. Inadequate oil supply will increase the abrasion level and temperatures, which will cause over-abrasion and/or bearings lose effectiveness at early stage or get broken. If bearings are over-lubricated, esp for high speed rotating equipment, it will cause too much heat due to lubricant stirring, which will break the bearings when lubricant chemically deteriorated.
 
Proper lubrication and regular maintenance will avoid bearing broken cases caused by lubrication problems. Below are tips for proper lubrication:
 
a)Follow the user guide of each equipment provided by the manufacturer.
b)Please fill the grease into the space between bearing rolling parts and housing (or inner and outer rings) when adding lubricant, make sure adequate lubricant is filled and key race surfaces are fully lubricated.
c)Please pay attention to the time of re-lubrication.
d)In order to detect the signs of problems, please pay attention to the indication meters of monitoring device, such as temperature fluctuation and / or abnormal high temperatures.
e)Please pay attention to the noise or unusual vibration of the equipment.
f )Keep an eye on the lubricant leaking situation.
g)Periodical sample test of lubricant in case of grease pollution.
 
Secondly, proper adjustment is very important to improve the bearing performance. When assemble or install bearings, the bearings will face early stage broken and lifespan shortened problems if internal gaps of bearings are too large or too small, or the bearings are overloaded under some situations. Improper bearing assembly and installation will cause many negative effects, such as affect the running of other parts or shorten the lifespan besides machine halt and expensive repair cost.
 
The best way to avoid such problems is to assemble, install and maintain bearings per the user manual of equipment manufacturer. In a time urgent situation, you can fix the loose tapered roller bearing sets by push forward and adjust the device or remove the spacer. On the other hand, bearings will be overheated and have to be replaced if they are over-tightened. All bearing assembly and installation procedures must be accurate, repeatable, and can be verified after installation. Also parameters of other parts must be taken into consideration to optimize the system performance.