What is a Bearing?

Bearings are essential components of a mechanical system that facilitates rotary or linear motion with minimal of friction. It would be almost impossible to design and operate a mechanical or electro-mechanical system without bearings. There are a wide range of bearings depending on the applications - ball bearing is the most common type bearing used in everyday application such as in a bike. Other types of bearings include roller bearings, sleeve bearings (no moving parts), needle bearing (thin rollers). Thrust bearings are a special type of bearings used in car wheels due to lateral movements (side-wise movements). as well as impact loads. Where used - machine tools, hand tools, cars, trains, airplanes, electrical motors, turbines (water, steam, gas) - almost anything that moves uses bearings.

How to Find Bearing Numbers by Size?

Bearing part numbers help you to identify the type, size and general uses for a bearing. The part number is usually stamped or printed on the bearing. There are three different types of bearings. Ball bearings are loose spheres that separate the races in a bearing. Roller bearings are circular shaped and function the same way as ball bearings. A needle bearing uses rollers to reduce friction. Occasionally, you may need to replace a bearing, but due to wear and accumulation of dirt, the part number may not be legible. 

You can identify the replacement bearing by the bearing measurements:
d=inside diameter, D=outside diameter and B/T = width diameter

Cleaning & Lubricating Ball Bearings

  1. Soak the ball bearings with volatile degreaser and apply motor spray on them. 
  2. Shake the bearing case vigorously to remove dirt. It will loosen and remove the dirt trapped inside the bearings. 
  3. Soak the bearings for another 15-30 minute. Repeat the process until the oil/liquid is clean. Dry the ball bearing with hot air gun/ hair blower to prevent rusting of the bearing.
  4. Apply light oil on the bearings, give it about 20 minutes to penetrate the seals and then clean the outsides up.

How to Avoid Bearing Corrosion?

It is crucial that you should not expose bearings to the presence of water for a long time, as it will lead to rust and corrosion. It will also cause the premature failure of the bearings, which can affect the machine performance and productivity. As a result, it will increase your operating costs. Also, make sure to wear gloves when handling bearings. Perspiration can also lead to rust and corrosion

What is a Deep Groove Ball Bearing?

Deep groove ball bearings are the most common type of ball bearing. They are commonly used in electric motors and in household appliances, car motors, office machinery, automation control, and garden and household tools. They have deep raceway grooves and their race dimensions are close to the dimensions of the balls that run inside.

Deep groove ball bearings come in many sizes, materials and varieties according to consumer needs, including special industrial uses such as high-temperature applications. High-temperature bearings are made to withstand temperatures up to 350°C (660°F) and are suitable for machines used in the metals industry or for industrial ovens.

What a bearing grease is the best?

The answer is, "it really depends." The selection of the best bearing lubricant (whether grease or oil) will depend on the application conditions. With a wide variety of greases and oils available, solutions are available for most applications; however, there is no perfect grease whether natural, synthetic, micro-filtered or otherwise.

Every grease has strengths and weaknesses in its performance and consequential monetary costs. For example, high temperature greases typically can't handle high loads very well. "Quiet" greases may break down at high temperatures.  Additives have benefits but some drawbacks too.  So there is no single best grease for bearings; it really comes down to the application and what characteristics are most important (and which are less).

Can bearings be refurbished?

For small bearings it is uneconomical to attempt to refurbish a bearing product. However, for larger size bearings (6 inch bore and above) there potentially could be economic gains. In particular, bearings such as slewing rings, cylindrical roller bearings, and spherical roller bearings are candidates for refurbishing.

What is the difference between a solid base and hollow base?

Solid Base Housings are manufactured with no cavities and no filling; they are stronger than hollow base and have no traps for bacterial and fungal growth. In a thermoplastic housing, a solid base won’t crumble under steam or high-pressure wash down. Hollow base saves material and weight to reduce cost. Some back-fill the hollow base with an epoxy resin to eliminate traps for bacterial growth, however this does not improve strength, can create an uneven mounting surface, and water can penetrate between the housing and filling materials which will induce cracking.​