What does bearing operation depend on and how to take care of them?

What does bearing operation depend on and how to take care of them?
Darrius Drew
Manufacturing and machinery/Other
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Bearings, like other parts in industrial machinery, are subject to wear. Daily use of the bearing leads to material fatigue and consequently to structural damage. What does bearing operation depend on and how to maintain them? I invite you to read the article.

Constant operation of a bearing leads to its wear over time. After some time, the part, instead of working quietly and smoothly, begins to make characteristic sounds – humming, rubbing, squeaking. As a consequence of long and sometimes excessive use, the temperature of the element increases and the bearing loosens.

Exploitation of parts in industrial machinery is a natural phenomenon, however, in case of bearings their perfect fit and proper assembly are very important. An improperly selected component will wear out much faster, and may also damage other parts of the machine. Proper installation is also crucial – a badly fitted bearing will make characteristic unpleasant noises right from the start. Inadequate lubrication and a lack of regular inspection and cleaning are other factors which contribute significantly to excessive bearing wear.

Regular inspection and maintenance of the bearings will affect how long they will continue to function properly. The wear of one component significantly affects the operation of the entire equipment. If an over-used part remains in service for too long, it can contribute to faster wear and tear, or even damage to other components.

Inspection and cleaning of bearings

Regular inspection of bearings allows possible material wear to be detected in good time. On standard industrial machinery, inspection and cleaning should take place at least once a year. The greater the load on the component, the more frequent the inspection should be. There are three main elements to be checked during the visual inspection of the equipment: temperature, noise and vibration frequency. Temperature is checked with a special sensor. Noise level is assessed using professional noise measuring devices or a traditional stethoscope. A vibration spectrum analyzer is a device used to measure individual machine parameters, including vibration frequency, depending on the operating conditions of the bearing and the measurement location.

Maintenance of bearings

Periodic cleaning and lubrication protects the bearing from damage. These machine elements are best cleaned with kerosene or petrol. For lubrication, you should use the appropriate grease, depending on the model. The method of lubrication should depend on the bearing speed. Regular cleaning and lubrication balances the temperature and protects the bearing from loosening. Another important consideration is bearing storage. Suitable storage conditions are a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius and 60% humidity. Remember to store bearings where they will not come into contact with dirt to avoid corrosion.

Replacing the bearing

Over time, the bearing will need to be replaced. Symptoms that should prompt you to replace it are various types of distortion. Material fat igue is a natural phenomenon that occurs after a certain number of revolutions. Replacing a damaged bearing should be done as soon as possible to protect other machine components from excessive stress.

Main photo: Kateryna Babaieva/pexels.com

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