Oil Self Lubricating Bearings: What are the Advantages?

Blog | March 27th, 2017

Certain undeniable benefits crop up when self-lubricating bearings are favoured over their contemporaries. First of all, as the label infers, this rolling element type is already equipped with oil. Through some innovative engineering wizardry, all friction handlers in this class possess an ability to lubricate themselves. With that said, what exactly are the advantages of this oil-imbued build? Well, for starters, they’re very nearly maintenance free.

A Best Fit for Hard to Reach Machinery 

A large production line employs hundreds of employees. These work-frazzled staff members include a diligent maintenance crew. One of the main jobs of this team is to lubricate the moving parts on the equipment, or there’ll be someone on the team to check the level of a lubrication reservoir. This is an important duty, but what if the machinery is located in some out-of-reach housing, perhaps even underground or underwater? A self-lubricating bearing is an optimal solution here, something that’s designed to continually release a slippery fluid from its porous material base.

Performs Optimally in Sealed Application 

This next benefit is closely tied to the maintenance free feature just mentioned. In this case, it’s simple functionality that determines the essential nature of an oil-laden bearing. The components are used in countless small appliances, after all, including handheld drills, extractor fans, and heating pumps, so these appliances and their heavy machinery compatriots should be able to work without the need for a repair shop. In our modern “throwaway” society, this closed housing philosophy is an essential product feature.

An Economical Solution 

No oil supply nipples are required when the lubricant is already incorporated within the component material. Likewise, there’s no need for countless maintenance checks, oil lines or oil baths. The latter mechanism requires tight labyrinth seals and many messy hours of repair, and these procedures aren’t free. It costs money to replace that oil, to build oil carrying reservoirs, and to employ that repair crew.

Finally, even the best oils, the finest formulated lubricants, have trouble finding their way into the tiny balls and sliding elements in a bearing. A dirty environment further complicates the issue because special component shields make the path of the fluid difficult. Granted, a moving component encourages the oil to distribute itself throughout the moving parts, but that feature doesn’t help during the starting phase. Self-lubricating bearings overcome start shock by always releasing the lubricating agent throughout the part’s housing, even when the bearing isn’t in motion.

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