The Importance of Correct Bearing Lubrication

One of the keys to optimal bearing performance is correct lubrication.

Although they are often small, bearings do important work and their premature failure could affect the efficiency and continuity of your process, and could even damage your machines.

Auburn Bearing & Manufacturings recommends lubrication before use; our bearings are supplied with a light oil as a rust preventative only.

Before lubricating a bearing, you must determine the best lubrication choice for the bearing, the job and the machine. Some questions to be answered are:

  • Is the goal to keep dirt and debris out of the bearing?
  • Are rust, oxidation and environmental conditions factors in the application?
  • What is the pressure, temperature and moisture level of the application?
  • What is the speed and the load of the process?
  • Does your application require food grade materials?

Once these questions are answered, the choices of whether to use oil or grease, or, synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds, must be determined.

Some general guidelines for lubricating bearings are:

  • For slow speed applications, fill the bearing 80% full with good general purpose industrial grease.
  • For medium to high speed applications, fill the bearing 20-30% full with good general purpose industrial grease.
  • If oil lubrication is chosen, ensure adequate oil is available to the bearing by drip feed, oil bath, or other methods.

Depending on the severity of the application, you may want to establish a Preventive Maintenance (PM) schedule at this point.

Examining your bearing requirements and choosing the right lubricant for your application will save you time and money. You will see lower maintenance and lubrication costs, less downtime, and better machine reliability.