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09 Mar '15

Suggestions for Bearing Replacement

Posted by Colin Fawdry

Today bearings are of significant value in almost all fields of life. These are widely used at domestic, as well as, industrial level. Bearings are one of the most elemental components that contribute towards the enabling of smooth and noise-free mechanical motion in various machines, ranging from simple home appliances to heavier and more complex industrial machinery.

Improper functioning of bearings in machines can lead to the damage of various parts, which is usually a consequence of friction. Frequent damage caused due to friction requires adequate replacement of bearings and other parts in a machine unit. Below are a few tips for you to assist you with the proper, easy and quick replacement of bearings, so that you may not face and undue problems in the future.

Replace Bearings in Pairs

When replacing bearings, ensure that you replace bearings in sets of two. A damaged or ruined bearing is indicative of the fact that other bearings are soon going to show similar signs of damage. In order to ensure utmost safety and save yourself the inconvenience of having to replace another bearing only a short period of time after you replace the first bearing, it is advised that you replace bearings in pairs.

Apply Heat to the Hub

It is possible that you may often face trouble when removing bearings from a machine, for the purpose of replacement. To easily remove bearings, it is advised that you heat the hub which makes the removal extremely quick and effortless. Heating the hub leads to the expansion of the metal which causes the bearings to loosen up in very little time.

Grease the Bearings

Greasing in itself extends the lifespan of bearings and is required to ensure their proper functioning. However, if you are facing any problems in the replacement of bearings, greasing can help you with easy removal and replacement too. Using a thin layer of grease to coat your bearings and other machine components significantly reduces friction and can make the replacement process quick and easy.

Take Assistance of the Manual

A manual can be of particular help if you are new to the process of bearing replacement. A good service manual will provide you with all the necessary guidelines and instructions to assist you with the proper replacement of bearings. This is of considerable help and can make the procedure much more quick and easy for you.

Prefer Using the Whole Unit

It is advised that when replacing bearings, opt for bearings that are sealed and are available as a part of the whole unit. Using bearings for replacement that are available with the hub and other hardware make the assembling much more efficient and convenient.

Hardware and Sensors

When replacing bearings, ensure that you remove brake hardware and sensors. These are really delicate components that need to be handled carefully, to prevent an undue damage to these during the replacement process. As these components are also pricy, their removal before the replacement can save you any unnecessary expenditure as a consequence of damaging these parts during bearing replacement.
02 Mar '15

Types of bearing

Posted by Colin Fawdry

Bearings are a crucial art of any machine or equipment. They can be found in small home appliances to large factory equipment. There are plenty of kinds of bearings available in the market made out of different kinds of materials and made to meet different kinds of purposes. It is important that you know what each type of bearing can do and how they will perform under different conditions to ensure that you get the most out of it. Understanding how they work will also give you a better idea as to how you should maintain them and how reliant they are on lubricants. Since there are many types of bearings that offer almost similar functions, it is very easy for anyone to get caught up and end up being confused.

For starters however, there are three most common types of bearings that you should familiarise yourself with: the needle bearings, the ball bearings and the roller bearings. This article will try to explain to you, in the simplest way possible, how these types of bearings work and when they should be used.

Needle bearings

Needle bearings are the type of bearings that are made up of tiny little roller. This essentially makes it a part of the roller bearing sub-category. These tiny rollers that made up a needle bearing are known as needles. These needles help the bearing to move properly and smoothly. Since the needles are minute in size, the amount of friction is significantly reduced from how it is when using massively sized rollers for the bearings.

Ball bearings

This is probably the type of bearing that everyone has seen or heard about. The ball bearing uses balls to facilitate its rotation and to make its mobility easier. The balls are encaged, to keep them from touching each other and creating friction. These types of bearings can be used for many types of machinery and equipment, particularly those which requires axial and radial loads support. Ball bearings are also the preferred type of bearing to use for machinery and equipment that generate high temperatures. The ball provides extension for the metal to expand, in case the material use is one of those types of metal that expands when exposed to high temperatures.

Roller bearings

Roller bearings are the preferred type of bearings for functions that need to support massive loads. They are chosen, over ball bearings as the rotating component because they can significantly hold more load than ball bearings. Roller bearings are also capable of supporting axial loads even better than ball bearings. If you are thinking of which one to use between roller and ball bearing, you have to keep in mind the type of load that it needs to support. Roller bearings have wide surface areas which means that they are more susceptible to corroding elements and damaged caused by too much friction on the areas. This is where needle rollers comes in.

23 Feb '15

Save Your Bearings from Corrosion

Posted by Colin Fawdry

Maintaining the integrity of your bearings is important. They have to be able to function well as a system. There are several ways as to how you can prevent corroding elements from destroying your bearings. It is then very important that you understand how the materials that your bearings are made out of react to different elements such as extreme temperatures, humidity and friction. Knowing what causes bearing corrosion is the best first step in ensuring that you can catch on it while it’s still beginning to happen or prevent it altogether.

Not knowing what elements can cause what kind of damage to your bearings will make it harder for you to prevent it from happening. Being able to tell what humidity, dust and other contaminants can do to your bearings is only possible if you understand what your bearings are made of. Some materials are very sensitive to these elements; therefore it is vital that you consult with your bearing manufacturers regarding ways on how you can prevent corrosion from occurring. You should look out for the oil film around your bearings and ensure that they are not contaminated by corrosive elements. Say for instance, water has a negative effect on the lubricant and causes it to break up. Dust can also have a damaging effect on bearings and the oil film that coats it even if not in huge amounts. Even the smallest particle of contaminant can reduce the longevity of your bearings dramatically.

Preventive Measures

  • Try to make sure that you do not gather dust and dirt when trying to lift using heavy equipment as they can seal the surface of your bearings
  • You also have to ensure that you clean the bearings properly. There are several ways of doing this such as using sprays with compressed air because bearings can get destroyed by high pressure steam.
  • Ensure that there are no leaks and in case they have started to appear, see to it that you seal it before the problem gets worse.
  • You have to be on a look out for radial slips as well for they can make the bearings tougher and less flexible.
  • Get debris protection shields for your bearings and make sure that your seals are appropriate for the temperature that your bearings are operating at.
  • Do not rely only on filters when it comes to trying to block contaminants and protecting your bearings. They are not fool proof and some dust and debris can still seep in. It is important that you keep replacing the filters and making sure that they are in tip top form.
  • Just like how you maintain your car’s engine oil, you should also check the grease and oil of your bearings. The oil should be consistent in texture; this means it has not been contaminated by any particles. If you see any contaminant, you have to address the issue by looking at the main source of the problem and identify where it is coming from.
26 Jan '15

Selecting the Right Bearing

Posted by Colin Fawdry

The importance of bearings cannot be ignored when it comes to ensuring proper functioning and operation of various machines and mechanical devices. Bearings contribute and facilitate the conduction of various mechanical processes and ensure smooth repeated mechanical motions in several machine units.

However, despite their similar functions in all machines, we must give due consideration to the fact there are different kinds of bearings available and we may select one that is most suitable for the concerned mechanical application. For instance, a bearing may be more effective for spinning a stool, while another type of bearing may be more useful for turning a car wheel. Different kinds of bearing serve different specialised functions and a bearing may be selected according to the application it is needed for.

There are various factors you may consider before you select a bearing. For instance, apart from the application the bearing is needed for, you may also give due consideration to the size of the bearing, as well as, the external environment in which the bearing is to be used. Similarly, during the selection of a suitable bearing for your mechanical device, you may also think about the external and internal forces that a bearing would be subjected to, and the intensity of those forces.

In most cases, bearings are usually subjected to three main forces namely, the axial force, the radial forces and a combination of the axial and radial force. Consider what forces are to dominate the working of your bearing, within a particular mechanical device, and then wisely select a bearing that is designed to show maximum tolerance to that force.

As mentioned earlier, application of the bearing is one of the primary factors that are to be considered when selecting a bearing for a particular machine. Bearings are basically differentiated on the basis of their ability to withstand the force of weight and load direction. Before selecting a bearing, consider the amount of load that the bearing is to be subjected to, to select a bearing that can adequately tolerate that pressure for an extensive time period.

Mostly people prefer to opt for ball bearings as these are designed to withstand both radial and axial forces. Furthermore, these are also specifically designed to work at high speeds, and hence, are often considered more efficient and productive. However, these ball bearings which are highly suitable to work under radial and axial forces, fail to function properly when subjected to heavy loads and excessive weights. Often ball bearings start showing signs of deformity and under perform in such cases.

A bearing’s ability to support a specified amount of load may also be judged through the size of the bearing. The size of the bearing and its ability to support load share a positive direct relation. Therefore, the bigger the bearing more will be its ability to support load. This is the reason why roller and cylindrical bearings, that have more surface area than ball bearings, are able to support more load and weight.      

21 Jan '15

Importance of Bearing Lubrication

Posted by Colin Fawdry

The efficiency of your machine depends on how efficiently the bearing inside the machine functions. Considering their importance in the proper functioning of a machine unit, bearings are of utmost importance, especially in the industrial sector. To keep your bearings in good conditions and ensure that they function properly for an extensive time period, you need to regularly lubricate your bearings.

Today, most of the industrial machinery depends on ball bearings for the proper conduction of smooth and repeated mechanical motions. Hence, regular and proper lubrication of ball bearings will allow you to ensure that your machines and mechanical devices function efficiently for longer periods of time.

Bearings are coated in a very thin layer of the selected lubricant that provides these with sufficient protection against contamination and ensures smooth motion without any friction. Selecting the right lubricant for your machine and its proper application are two of the most important factors that contribute towards longer lifespan of your bearings. Adequate and proper maintenance of the bearing lubricant is also important for keeping your bearings in good conditions for an extended time period.  

In case, you are negligent of any of the aforementioned factors, there will be high chances that you are to faces problems such as improper running of the machine and bearings failure. Hence you need to be extremely careful when selecting a lubricant for your bearing.

To help you understand the importance of lubrication for bearings, the following points outline the advantages of properly lubricating the bearings in your mechanical devices.

Reduces Friction

Lubricating the bearings with a suitable lubricant primarily contributes towards reducing friction between different moving components of a machine. Lubricating coats the bearing in a very thin layer of the selected lubricant that prevents that occurrence of eventual damage caused as a result of friction. The thin layer of lubricant prevents metal-to-metal contact between different machine components that is the major cause of friction in machines.

Minimum Cage Wear

Lubrication is also important for the reduction and elimination of cage wear friction. Lubricants are elemental for reducing sliding and surface friction in sliding pockets and land surfaces, in machines. This ultimately leads to reduced cage wear friction increasing the life and efficiency of the bearings.

Oxidation and Corrosion Prevention

Lubrication covers the bearings in a thin layer of a suitable lubricant that provides the bearing with sufficient protection against oxidation and corrosion. As a result of lubrication the bearings are coated in thin protected layers, which minimise their exposure to the harmful external elements and minimises the chances of oxidation and failure of bearings.

Prevents Contamination

Bearing contamination is one of the major causes of bearing failure. Bearing contaminants are usually foreign bodies such as dust, dirt and debris. When these external bodies come into contact with the surface of bearings these can cause sufficient damage and can lead to bearing failure. As lubricants form a thin sheath of protective coating on the bearings, the bearing is protected from contamination and eventual failure.        

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