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How to extend the service life of the bearings?

Jul 14, 2022
Before we know how to extend bearings service life, we need to understand what bearing service life is. Bearings service life is the number of revolutions or hours that a bearing undergoes before pitting corrosion under a certain load. Bearings within this life should have initial fatigue damage on any of their rings or rolling elements. However, it can be clearly observed in our daily practical use that under the same working conditions, the actual life of bearings of the same type is quite different. 

What causes this, and how can we avoid these misuses to extend the service life of our bearings? The following points are summarized for your reference:

1. Pollution
About 40% of the failures of ball bearings are caused by dust, dirt, debris pollution and corrosion. The main reasons include: opening the bearing package too early before use, resulting in contamination; unclean working environment during installation, causing pollution; the working environment of the bearing is not clean, the working medium is polluted, etc.
Recommendation: Bearings should preferably be kept in their original packaging until installed.  Keep the mounting environment clean during installation, and keep the bearings in a clean, moisture-free, relatively constant temperature environment as much as possible. Rolling bearings should be kept away from dust, water and corrosive chemicals. Pay attention to cleaning the used bearings. The rotating surface of the bearing ring is very smooth and sensitive to damage caused by pollutants.Particulate impurities can be over-crushed by rolling elements and create local pressure in the bearings, eventually leading to permanent material fatigue.  Therefore, for rolling bearings, installing sealing strips is a very good solution to reduce contamination.

2. Improper installation
When mounting the bearing,the force is too large. Among them, hitting the bearing with a hammer will damage the bearing the most, and it is also the main reason for the deformation of the bearing. Another case is when too much force is applied to the rolling element during installation, which can easily lead to local overloading of the contact surface of the rolling element and housing ring, resulting in premature bearing failure.
Recommendation: Choose an appropriate or professional bearing mounting tool for mounting, do not use any hard tools to directly hit the bearing surface, which will lead to fracture or broken bearing rings. Shaking and vibration may permanently damage the mechanical performance of the bearing, so vibration should be avoided during storage and installation. Generally, bearings should be stored horizontally, because some heavier bearings will deform due to their own weight after being placed vertically for a long time. Therefore, the appropriate tools should be selected to carefully mount the bearing, and it is best to use a special instrument for testing after installation.

3. Poor lubrication
According to the investigation, poor lubrication is one of the main causes of premature damage to bearings. Including not filling lubricant or lubricating oil in time, lubricant or lubricating oil not filling in place, improper selection of lubricant or lubricating oil, incorrect lubrication method, etc.
Recommendation: The correct and appropriate oil or lubricant can isolate bearing surfaces, thereby reducing friction, protecting metal parts, and preventing contamination and impurities. But at the same time, due to the excessive rolling of the rolling parts, the bearing lubricant is subjected to long-term mechanical stress, and especially in a high temperature, humid or polluted environment for a long time, the chemical properties of the lubricant will change. All of these will lead to the deterioration of lubrication quality. Therefore, the bearings should be re lubricated regularly. A wide variety of greases are currently available on the market for different operating conditions. The correct lubricant or lubricant should be selected and the correct lubrication filling method should be used to extend the service life of the bearing.

4. Fatigue use
Fatigue damage is a common form of damage to bearings. Common causes of fatigue damage may be: long-term overload operation of bearings, failure to maintain in time, improper maintenance, aging equipment, etc.
Recommendation: In order to avoid the occurrence of bearing fatigue, when purchasing and selecting bearings, the appropriate bearing type should be selected; for bearings that have been fatigued and damaged, they should be replaced regularly.

The service life of each bearing is different, but if the bearing is well maintained, the service life of the bearing can be extended to a certain extent. However, if the bearing selection is not good, the installation is incorrect, and the maintenance is not in place, it is very likely that the bearing will be scrapped in less than an hour. Therefore, we should not take it lightly from the purchase of bearings, correct installation to daily maintenance.

CHG company specializes in R&D and production of various types of rolling mill bearings, precision thin section bearings and large high-end roller products. Since the establishment of the company, its products have been widely used in metallurgy, military industry, medical treatment, precision machinery and other fields, and exported to home and abroad. CHG adheres to the quality of products and provides customers with the highest quality products and services.
For more details, please call +86-379-65793878 or email to us.
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