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The Bearing 411

An NKE angular contact bearing for high-speed applications.

Ways to Extend Bearing Service Life for 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 wellbeing: 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’s 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’ll 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’ll also want to plan for manual relubrication or a solution that allows for the part to re-lubricate itself if possible.

You’ll 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 won’t 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 spalling 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 flipside, loads that are too light can increase the likelihood of slippage, which will also result in damage. As such, it’s important to pair your bearing’s load requirements to your specific system.

Find the Right High-Speed Bearings for Your Needs

Finding the right bearings for your application can not only help your system run efficiently, it can also save you from the hassle cause by early part failure. At Ritbearing, we can help you identify the perfect bearings for your performance needs and budget, such as one of TPI's super precision roller bearings. With our network of bearing manufacturers and team of experts, we can find an available part or custom engineer a bearing for your specific needs.

Are you in need of quality bearings for high-speed applications? Contact us about your bearing needs today.