Choosing the right lubricant for bearings.

As you probably are already aware, the bearings in your machines are incredibly important for proper functioning. They reduce friction between moving parts and keep components moving the way they need to. Bearing failure can be a huge headache, causing damage to expensive machinery and unwanted downtime. One of the main causes of bearing failure is improper or insufficient lubrication. At LH Travis, we recognize the importance of keeping your equipment running smoothly, so we have some advice about how to select the right lubrication for the bearings in your machinery.

The Right Lubrication Matters

Some rolling element bearings are produced with integral double seals and are “lubricated for life.” This means the manufacturer has pre-greased the bearings and they won’t need the usual maintenance and lubrication of other types of bearings.

Most other types of bearings will need regular lubrication to preserve their anti-friction function and to reduce excess heat. The most common question we hear at LH Travis is whether to use oil or grease on bearings. While there are pros and cons to each, it generally comes down to a matter of usage.

Oil is the ideal choice for rolling element bearings, but it isn’t always practical. Low-speed applications can take an oil bath lubrication or oil splash lubrication, but these methods aren’t good for high-speed applications. In a high-speed application, circulating oil lubrication is a better choice. This is a closed-loop system that utilizes a piping system to move oil from a pump through the bearings. For extreme speed applications, oil jet lubrication may be used, where one or more nozzles shoot a stream of pressurized oil onto the bearing.

There are some cases in which grease is preferred, often to reduce the frequency of lubrication or to limit contamination. If you choose to go with grease, check with the manufacturer of the bearings in question to determine which type of grease is optimal.

LH Travis Has You Covered

No matter what type of lubrication you decide to go with, you can count on LH Travis for professional, courteous service. Our highly trained technicians are familiar with all of the most commonly used lubricants and can advise you on any questions you may have about your lubrication equipment.