Bearing cleanliness is critical to reliability It may seem surprising that particles 5 microns or smaller can cause precision bearings to fail. At this particle size, a human hair is about 60 part microns; a fingerprint is 13 microns; fine dust is 25 microns; and tobacco smoke is 6 microns. These particles may be small, but because of their potential to cause damage, the message must be conveyed that maintaining a high level of cleanliness inside precision bearings is critical. This is also important because even small particles of foreign matter can disrupt the smooth running qualities and low torque values of a bearing even if they are not actually causing the failure.
1. What are the pollutants of bearings?
In general, dirt and contaminants that can affect bearing performance fall into three broad categories:
1.1 Airborne pollutants
1.2 Transferred pollutants
1.3 Introduced dirt.
The first category includes items such as lint, metal flakes, abrasive flakes, industrial fumes and dust. In contrast, transferred contaminants are dirt picked up from one source and transferred to bearings from hands, work surfaces, packaging, tools and fixtures. Finally, the category of introduced fouling involves impurities entering the bearing from dirty solvents or lubricants.
In addition to the main categories, other often overlooked pollutants are humidity and humidity, fingerprints (transferred by handling), dirty grease and cigarette smoke. These, like all sources of contamination mentioned above, should be considered a major cause of wear, corrosion or bearing degradation.
2. How can bearing cleanliness be achieved?
The problem of maintaining bearing cleanliness begins the moment the bearing is removed from its protective packaging. Because of this, it is best not to remove them until they are ready for use, and then only remove them after the work area has been effectively cleaned and prepared. After opening the package, only clean, dry, talc-free, lint-free gloves should be worn when handling bearings.
1. Keeping the working environment of the transfer bearing is the key to keep the bearing clean
Here, care should be taken as material incompatibility between the glove and any cleaning solvent may result in the transfer of a film of contamination to the bearing during subsequent handling. If the bearing is an instrument type, avoid handling with gloves and use surgical forceps instead.
Of course, cleanliness extends not only to the bearings themselves, but also to work and storage areas, workbenches, tools, fixtures and housings. An uncluttered workspace with good lighting, organized tool storage, convenient parts bins and proper work gear makes for an ideal working environment. Under no circumstances should food or drink be consumed on or near the work surface. Smoking is prohibited in areas where bearings are replaced; and bearing installation operations should be kept away from other machining operations such as grinding and drilling (etc.) to help minimize contamination problems.
Further restrictions relate to electrostatic and other manipulations that may cause the bearing rings and balls to become magnetized. These can cause dust with fine metal particles to enter the bearing. If there is any indication that the bearings have been magnetized, they should be run through a suitable demagnetizer while they are still in their original sealed packaging.
2. Another key to keep the bearings clean is a good table surface material
Such as metal or plastic. In general, painted metal is not a good work surface because it can chip, peel or rust. Plastic laminate may be acceptable and easier to keep clean. In addition to a good surface, every work bench should have clean, burr-free tools designed for the job. These tools should not be painted or chromed as they can be a source of particulate contamination that can enter and damage the bearings.
3. Clean the inside of the bearing
The requirement for burr-free components also extends to all other parts of the bearing assembly, especially the housing interior and shaft housing. Both areas should also be thoroughly cleaned prior to installation. GJP Bearing has 15 years of bearing manufacturing experience, specializing in the production and export of various bearings and stainless steel pipe fittings.
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