The Importance Of Lubrication For Bearings

Bearings play a vital role in ensuring the smooth and frictionless operation of machinery in industrial settings, particularly to enable heavy loads to move with ease. However, it is imperative that, like all moving mechanical parts, bearings are thoroughly lubricated with a suitable fluid to maintain optimum efficiency, reduce friction and heat generation, and ensure they operate properly in the long-term.

In this article, we will consider why lubrication is important in machinery.


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Reducing Friction And Heat

The primary role of lubrication for bearings is to reduce friction. As surfaces rub against each other, they create heat and wear, which can lead to bearings failing prematurely. Lubrication acts as a protective barrier between the surfaces of moving parts, reducing friction and minimising abrasion. Bearings that have been correctly lubricated generate less heat and are more likely to provide long-term high performance, resulting in fewer periods of disruptive downtime and lower maintenance and repair costs.

Ensuring Proper Operation

In the same way that riding a bicycle without oil on the chain would result in a grating, squeaky, or sluggish cycling experience, lubrication is essential for high performing bearings in industrial equipment. Lubrication ensures that the rolling elements inside the bearing can move smoothly and with minimal resistance. Without adequate lubrication, the bearing would struggle to function, leading to increased wear, heat, and potential failure.

Preventing Rust And Corrosion

Bearings are often exposed to harsh environmental conditions, increasingly the risk of rust and corrosion. Moisture and contaminants in the surrounding air can cause corrosion, which can significantly decrease the life of a bearing. Proper lubrication forms a protective barrier, preventing moisture and contaminants from making contact with the bearing's surfaces. As well as reducing maintenance needs, lubrication also prolongs the equipment's lifespan, saving your business money in the long-run.

The Right Lubrication Matters

Not all bearings are created equally, and likewise, not all lubrication is suitable for every type of bearing. The type and viscosity of lubrication matter significantly. Some bearings require greases, while others work best with oils. Choosing the right lubricant ensures optimum performance and longevity. When selecting the appropriate lubrication, it is essential to consider factors such as operating conditions, speed, load, and temperature. A tailored approach ensures that your bearings will receive the care they need to perform at their best.

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