Bearing Lubrication plays a vital role in the performance and life of the rolling element bearings. The most important task of the lubricant is to separate parts moving relative to one another (balls or rollers and raceways) in order to minimize friction and prevent wear.
A lubricant that is designed for specific operating conditions will provide a load bearing wear protective film. The ideal condition is when the friction surfaces are separated by this film. In addition to providing this load-bearing film, the lubricant should also allow for the dissipation of frictional heat thus preventing overheating of the bearing and deterioration of the lubricant and provide protection from corrosion, moisture, and the ingress of contaminants.
Lubricants used in rolling element bearings should have the following characteristics:
- Maintains a stable viscosity over a broad range of temperatures
- Good film strength that can support loads
- The stable structure that provides for long service life
- Non-corrosive and compatible with adjacent components
- Provides a barrier against contaminant and moisture, yet does not leak out of the bearing