Precision Ball Bearings
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Lengthening the Service Life for Bearings In High Speed Applications

Wear and tear naturally occur over time for any bearing. For parts used in high-speed applications, the negative effects of wear and tear can become a major issue much sooner.

High-speed applications create a pair of problems for your bearing’s well being: more heat and friction. Without proper planning and precautions, the added heat and friction caused by high-speed use can cause churning, slippage, and early breakage. Not only will this lead you to quickly ramp up your part replacement budget, it can also lead to lost potential revenue from unplanned downtime and a need to allocate valuable resources to avoidable issues.

Fortunately, a mix of proper bearing selection and preventative measures can help you make sure your bearings are built to handle high speeds. Here is what you can do to help extend the lifespan of bearings used in high-speed applications.

Use proper lubrication

Once of the best ways to limit the impacts of friction is through proper lubrication. A well-lubricated bearing can help reduce slippage and churning, while limiting other forms of wear and tear that can cause early part failure.

To start, you will want to identify the right lubrication for your part.  Improper lubrication can lead your bearings to an early demise. Different operating speeds can call for a different base oil viscosity to help the part run seamlessly. Over time, the lubrication can lose viscosity as well. In this case, you will also want to plan for manual re-lubrication or a solution that allows for the part to re-lubricate itself if possible.

You will also want to make sure that you use the right amount of lubrication for your part. Too much lubricant can lead to churning. Too little will not properly prevent excess friction and wear.

Pay attention to load requirements

In addition to proper lubrication, load requirements also play a major role in the lifespan of your bearings. While you can sometimes change your systems overall load, it’s typically easier to try and match your bearings to the load requirements of your applications.

Loads that are too light or too heavy for a bearing can both pose problems for service life. Too much weight can lead to failure and part fatigue. Not only can overloading cause excess vibration and noise, it can also make your bearings fracture over time and ultimately fail. On the flip side, loads that are too light can increase the likelihood of slippage, which will also result in damage. As such, it is important to pair your bearing’s load requirements to your specific system.