Miniature ball bearings lubrication is an essential element of bearing selection. Proper lubricant can reduce friction, prevent bearing wear, protect bearing surfaces from corrosion, and carry away excess heat from bearing operation. SUNBEARING, selects only bearing approved and tested oils and greases for our wide variety of lubricant options. Therefore, bearings operate on a very thin film of lubricant which must be maintained, or replaced, to ensure that maximum bearing life is achieved.
Proper selection, application, and maintenance are vital in maximizing bearing life. So using the proper lubrication in the bearing will reduce friction and wear. This is achieved by creating a hydrodynamic film of appropriate thickness and strength to support the load while separating the balls from the raceway.
Bearing lubrication prevents metal to metal contact. And it also minimizes retainer wear by reducing friction. Proper lubricant will conduct heat away from the bearing. Operational conditions such as temperature, loads, speed, torque, and environment determine the lube appropriate for the application.
Use oil where low bearing friction torque is a primary concern. Therefore, grease may provide longer operating life and resist lubricant loss due to centrifugal forces at higher speeds. Dry-film lubricants are often appropriate for vacuum environments or other conditions where wet lube is not an option.
Wettability is the ability of a liquid to maintain contact with a solid surface. A bearing has two different surface treatments (intentional or unintentional contamination by other lubricants, soaps, detergents, hand cream, food products, etc), which could result in a non-wettable condition on the raceway. In simplest terms, think about driving a car on the highway and the weather turns stormy. Rain pours onto the highway, mixing with the gas, oil, rubber, and other debris that was already coating the road. Moreover, the road becomes very slippery in some places and not as slippery in others. Hence, the automobile’s tires slip and then gain traction and then slip again, on the differently lubricated surfaces of the road.