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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Save Money On Replenishing Bearing Grease!

Instead of replenishing bearing grease... pump oil into it: Fact or fiction?

We all want to save time and money when it comes to replenishing bearing grease: Have you ever tried, instead of replenishing bearing grease, to pump oil into the bearing, with the hope of “rejuvenating” the grease? This is a rather uncommon practice, but it does happen.

The short answer is that pumping oil into the bearing is in no way a substitute for replenishing bearing grease. As you probably know, grease is a product of dispersion of a thickening agent in a liquid lubricant. Over time while in service,
grease separates or dries out. The oil eventually goes away, and the thickener is left behind.

Why is it not possible to inject oil into the grease, instead of replenishing the bearing grease.

Assuming your technicians are trying to replace the oil that has separated, this might be possible under certain conditions. However, you should replenish the grease rather than the oil.

There are two problems with this practice.

The first problem is that it is not that easy to mix grease. You cannot simply pour oil onto the thickening agent to get grease. Most greases are formed by dissolving the thickener reagents in oil where they react to create the thickener plus byproducts in solution under controlled conditions (temperature and pressure).

Next, the byproducts are removed, and other additives and oil are added to give the desired consistency. Then the mixture is homogenized to provide consistent properties throughout the batch. As you can see, by just adding some "light" oil, you are probably just washing out some old grease.

The other problem could come from successfully mixing the oil with the grease. If the new oil did mix with the old grease, you could significantly alter the properties of the grease or even introduce incompatible components that could lead to a number of problems.

You could change the consistency of the grease, affect the viscosity of the base oil, dilute additive concentration or create a number of chemical reactions between incompatible components, which can lead to additive neutralization, changes in lubricant chemistry and certainly impaired performance properties.

What is the best practice for replenishing bearing grease?

The best practices to follow when replenishing bearing grease are:
  • Firstly, make sure you are using the right grease for the application, use appropriate methods to determine the right amount required for replenishing bearing grease.
  • Secondly, select the best relubrication frequency. 
 These values will rely on the type of bearing, speed, bearing geometry and operating conditions (temperature, moisture, particle contamination, seal type, etc.).

The only other consideration is how to lubricate the bearing; manual application vs. continuous (automatic) application. Once you have made these determinations correctly, you can see a dramatic improvement in the intervals between replenishing bearing grease. 

By consulting Habot Synthetic lubricants, we can offer you a synthetic lubricant that will further reduce the overall costs when replenishing bearing grease over time.


MetafinSolutions co said...

bearing grease

Bearings are the life line of any wheel or mechanical application and takes heavy loads under extreme temperature and pressure conditions. Hence lubricating bearings at constant intervals with Bearing Grease lowers the friction and provides longer shelf life for bearings thus minimizing maintenance costs and time. .

Various grades and types of Bearing Greases are available to suit the specific requirement of a particular bearing. Selection of the Bearing Grease is very important and the maintenance engineers should strictly follow the advice of the original equipment manufacturer in the selection of Bearing Grease.

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Fritz Clark said...

Those looks like quality made bearings. Great to look at.
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Dick Olson said...

It’s become somewhat of a rarity to find original online article content anymore. I’m very surprised to find this well-written impressive article. You have many logical points here that compelled me to consider your side. white metal bearings

John Harbaugh said...

wow, i had no idea it was this easy. Rad! Also, love the wheels.
white metal bearings

Charles Lembcke said...

Lubricants do play an important role for the maintenance of the bearing. It also prolongs its life significantly.

hydrodynamic bearings