How to Use Oil Impregnated Bearings Properly

January 24, 2023

Different industries utilise many machine components to make their machines functional. One of these components is the bearing.

A bearing is a machine component that can reduce friction between two moving parts. It can likewise restrict the relative motion of the said parts to only the desired movement. It is generally used alongside a shaft, as it supports the said component that rotates inside a machine. Most bearings can be found in automobiles, aeroplanes, electric generators, and others.

Different types of bearings are available in the market right now. But one of the bearings often maximised in specific applications is the oil-impregnated bearing.

Manufacturing the Oil-Impregnated Bearings

Oil-impregnated bearings are bearings that have the capability to self-lubricate. This property is possible since the bearings have been made through the powder metallurgy process, a process wherein parts and products are formed through heating compacted metal powders.

To produce oil-impregnated bearings, the metal powders are often gravity fed into a die set. These materials are then pressed, ensuring that they can hold together. They are subsequently bonded together in a furnace that will be later heated to a temperature below their melting point.

The impregnation of oil into the bearings is then carried out through the sintering procedure. This procedure decreases the porosity of the product since it can hold and bond the metal powders together. With a final porosity of around 25%, the oil-impregnated bearings may still possess tiny, interconnected capillaries woven throughout these products. To finish manufacturing the bearings, they must be pressed by a calibration set of tools and vacuum impregnated to effectively force oil into the interconnected capillaries.

Oil-Impregnated Bearings Proper Application

Oil-impregnated bearings eliminate the need for lubricants. They also do not need to be maintained all the time, which cannot be said with other types of bearings. The general properties of these bearings likewise make them suitable for low-to-moderate loads and applications with temperatures of around -12 to 105 degrees Celsius.

But to obtain these benefits, these bearings should be handled and used carefully.

When storing these bearings, they should be placed inside plastic resealable bags. They can also be stored in metal or other non-absorbent containers. They must also be kept at room temperature to avoid oil loss due to heat. Avoid storing them in the paper, cloth, and cardboard containers. If they have been, however, exposed to heat, the users should re-oil them before installing or using them. Re-oiling can be done by immersing the bearings in high-quality mineral oil at 60 to 70 degrees Celsius for 10 to 15 minutes and subsequently cooling them in cold oil.

Before installing the oil-impregnated bearings, users should remove all sharp edges from the mating shaft and the housing first. The bearings should then be cleaned to remove any dust and grit. These bearings can then be installed through a shouldered arbour plug placed into an arbour press. Out-of-roundness conditions on bearings can then be corrected once they are pressed into the housing. To buy these bearings, you can contact us at PM Distributors.

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