How to Store Bearings Correctly

As a bearing supplier, Yorkshire’s YB Components know exactly how important bearings are for reducing friction and facilitating motion in various applications.

To optimise the performance of your bearings, you will need to ensure they are stored correctly. Here are some tips to help you keep them in optimal condition.

Store Flat to Avoid Brinnelling

Always store your bearings flat, and in an environment that doesn’t experience any vibrations. Keeping them flat and still during storage helps avoid any potential damage that might occur such as brinnelling, which is the term for permanent indentation of a hard surface.

The term comes from the Brinell scale of hardness, which involves a small ball being pushed against a hard surface with a predetermined amount of force. With multiple ball bearings within the bearing housing itself, there is clear potential for brinnelling damage should the bearing be stored upright while experiencing vibrations.

Keep Storage Area Dry

Make sure the area where the bearings are being stored is completely dry and that it has a cool and steady temperature. This should help avoid any condensation forming and causing damage over time. Don’t keep bearings near vents or windows as the draft will keep the temperature alternating, and that may lead to you needing to contact your bearing supplier in Yorkshire much quicker than usual.

You may also want to keep an eye on the humidity levels, and keep them below 75% to prevent other moisture-related issues such as rust and corrosion. It is also advised to reduce humidity to 50% when temperatures rise over 25 degrees Celsius.

Keep Storage Area Clean

Dust, dirt and a variety of other contaminants can cause damage to bearings too, so keep the storage area as clean as possible. You can also leave the bearings in their original packaging until it is time to use them, as this will further help keep contaminants from infiltrating the bearing housing.

For bearings that are not in their original packaging, try wrapping the bearing tightly with paper to provide an additional layer of protection during storage. Alternatively, you can also coat each bearing with a corrosion inhibiting oil which will protect it from moisture-related issues like rust and corrosion.

Store Large and Small Bearings Appropriately

Smaller bearings can be ideally stored in cardboard boxes, so long as the cardboard box is also stored somewhere that adheres to the guidelines on this page.

Larger bearings might need to be stored on a wooden pallet, where again they should be laid flat to avoid movement and keep them stable.

Monitor Bearing Shelf Life

Different bearings have different shelf lives, so check with the manufacturer’s guidelines or speak to your bearing supplier in Yorkshire for advice. It can be a good idea to organise your bearing use with a ‘first in is the first out’ stock rotation strategy.

This will make sure that the bearings aren’t stored for long periods of time that exceed the shelf life of each bearing.

If you need any bearings or associated parts, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading bearing supplier in Yorkshire. We keep local stocks of all such parts and more ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.