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Don’t fall victim to unnecessary and costly downtime: Advice for maintaining the condition of linear bearings


Linear bearings generally rely on a roller, pad or brushing system as a means of carrying a load on a rail of virtually any length. The robustness of a linear bearing greatly depends on what the load and required speed is. These types of bearings provide a low friction motion along a single axis.

Whether it’s Cls33-w senotec switching amplifier, Dinal gel couplings, Enemac clutches, or just about any type of industrial part, good maintenance and care is the key to ensuring equipment remains in good working condition for an optimum amount of time. And none more so than with linear bearings.

A regular and thorough maintenance schedule will help avoid the expense and stress of unplanned downtime. It is therefore within every company’s interest, which relies on the likes of Sferax linear bearings to keep this important industrial component well maintained.

Linear bearing lubrication

As Thomson Linear advises in its Linear Bearing Maintenance Guide, “proper lubrication is required for rolling element bearings to last, even under light loads.”

When bearings are properly lubricated the oil can flow freely through the bearing, which helps to flush out any contaminants that have been built up within the bearing.

Though as RepRap highlights, not all linear bearings require lubrication.

Inspect linear bearings regularly

Whether a linear bearing requires lubricating or not, all of these essential industrial components should be inspected regularly.

Linear bearings should be inspected regularly in order to help prevent them failing and costly company downtime from occurring. As Thomson Linear notes, linear inspections can be conducted fairly easily by simply running your finger along the shaft and rail of the bearing.

You should be able to detect a thin layer of oil on the shaft and rail and if it is completely dry the bearing should be lubricated.

The bearings should also be inspected for both contaminants and corrosion. If any metal fragments are present on the shaft, rail or outer race of the bearing, a thorough lubrication may be required.

Cleaning linear bearings

Cleaning linear bearings frequently can also help them stay in good working condition. As we wrote in an earlier blog on advice for cleaning bearings, once removed and taken apart, the bearings should be placed in a lid-tight container full of isopropyl alcohol, which will penetrate deeply and clean the bearings.

If you require the replacement of linear bearings, YB Components are specialists in the supply of a myriad of industrial components, including linear bearings. If you think you are paying too much for industrial special parts, take advantage of our ‘Source and Supply’ service, which comprises of a database of more than 50,000 manufacturers across Europe and America.