Keep Your Bearings Clean
Cleanliness is very important when handling bearings. Contamination caused by foreign particles like dirt, sand, water, and chemical compounds may result in bearing failure, which will result in disruption of oil film, reduction of lubricant fluid flow, and corrosion.
Therefore, it is crucial to prevent the entry of these contaminants into bearing components by keeping the surrounding areas and environment as clean as possible.
Food and smoking are also prohibited near any bearings. Also, be sure to keep your hands, tools, and fixtures clean all the time!
Use Proper Tools
Proper bearing handling requires the use of proper tools; avoid general-purpose tools and never use your bare hands.
Proper tools should always be used when mounting and dismounting. The tools for mounting should make sure that the bearings are mounted squarely on the shaft and into the housing. The tools used for the bearing work must also be kept pristine, clean, and burr-free.
Moreover, do not clean housings and shafts with shop rags or cotton swabs because they may contaminate the bearings. Instead, it is best to use clean room wipes or clean room swabs.
Bearings should be handled with care. One of the methods for handling bearings carefully is by keeping your hands as clean as possible. It is recommended to wear gloves such as latex gloves, talc-free finger cots or talc-free surgical gloves.
This is to prevent skin oils, moisture, and acid from hand from depositing and staining the bearing surface, which would cause etching and corrosion to the bearings. Hence, bearings must be kept in dry places in a dry environment.
Besides that, users should never subject a bearing to shock or impact load. If a bearing is dropped to the floor and subjected to excessively powerful impacts, it will break, crack or become brinelled, which means dents in the raceways.
Proper lubrication with the correct quantities of the appropriate lubricant is very important to prevent bearing failure. Besides acting as a seal against contaminants, bearing lubrication serves as a surface protection against corrosion, heat transference provider, and barrier between sliding surfaces and rolling contact.
However, lubrication can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much lubrication a bearing needs. This is because over-lubrication can increase friction and pressure, which will then lead to excess heat.
Similarly, under-lubrication will cause friction caused by direct contact between metals, which will result in destructive heat production. Therefore, sufficient viscosity at operating temperature is essential for good lubrication, which will help to preserve the bearing’s performance and rolling element bearings’ lifespan.
Two types of lubricants commonly used for bearings are oil lubricant and grease lubricant.