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Advice for cleaning bearings

Sferax linear bearings, AMT linear bearings or just about any type of bearing, all have one thing in common – they are a crucial machine component which is designed to reduce friction between moving parts.

Bearings can either provide free linear movement of the moving parts or prevent a motion by controlling the vectors of the forces. Either way bearings are an essential component in a myriad of machinery and equipment for a diverse range of industries.

From the verb ‘to bear’

Did you know that the noun ‘bearing’ derives from the verb ‘to bear’? This is in reference to a bearing being a part of machinery that enables one component ‘to support’ or ‘bear’ another.

So how do we clean these essential components to help ensure our machinery stays working at its optimum?

Remove the bearings

Of course to get at the bearing in order to give it a sufficient clean you will need to remove this industrial component from its adjoining parts.  This video demonstrates how to remove bearings properly from a wheel.

Take the bearings apart

Once you have removed them you should then take the bearings apart to ensure you can clean every element of the part. Again the video above recommends using a dental tool to remove the rubber seals from the bearing.

Clean the bearings

The bearings should then be put in a lid-tight container full to the top with isopropyl alcohol. Make sure the lid is securely fastened and then shake the container for at least five minutes to allow the substance to penetrate deep into the bearings.

Or, as Motion and Control NSK advises light oil or kerosene can be used as a cleaning solution.

This process can be repeated until you are happy the bearings are clean.

Rinse the bearings

After the bearings have been cleaned they should be given a finishing rinse. The bearing should be rotated whilst it is immersed in the finishing oil.

Let the bearings dry

Before you fit the bearing back into position you should make sure they are dry by laying them out of some cloth or paper towels.

Inspect for bearing wear

When you are cleaning your bearings it is the ideal opportunity to check the components for sign of wear. If you detect any cracks in the inner or outer rings, flaking or the raceway, smearing to the surfaces, discoloration, damage to the seals or evidence of creep on the periphery of the outer ring or the bore, now would be a good time to discard this bearing and replace it with a new one.

From ave chains to amc mecanocaucho anti vibration mounts, crowned tooth gear couplings to Centrex couplings, every industrial component should be regularly cleaned and inspected to ensure it remains in top working condition.

If you require new bearings or other industrial components, get in touch with YB Components and we’ll do our best to locate the industrial part for you.