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  Applied Industrial Technologies ProTalk - Bearings FAQ
   
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 ProTalk - Bearings


Q. Is it OK to install a bearing with a soft face hammer?

Q. Do I need to replace the housing of my mounted unit or can I just replace the bearing?

Q. How do I know if I am using the correct bearing?

Q. How can I lubricate my bearings in hard to reach areas?

Q: I've got a pillow block in between a huge motor and reducer. How can I avoid disassembling the shaft from either one?

Q: I am using setscrew pillow block bearings on a machine with a forward/reverse application. The setscrews are coming loose and allowing the shaft to spin in the bearings. What can be done to eliminate this problem?

Q. What is the most effective locking for mounting a pillow block bearing?

Q. Can I use any brand of carriage with an existing square rail?

Q. Can I damage seals by greasing a bearing?

Q. When securing an eccentric locking collar bearing to the shaft, which direction do I turn the collar?

Q. Is it OK to install a bearing with a soft face hammer?
A. A soft face or dead blow hammer is much better than a steel hammer if it's the only tool available. The preferred method, however, would be a bearing driver set such as the one SKF offers, or an arbor press to install your bearings. Also, you need to be careful that you drive or press only on the ring (inner or outer race) that is being fit. If you drive through the rolling elements (for instance, driving on the inner ring to press a bearing into a housing), you stand a good chance of "brinnelling," or indenting the raceways with the balls or rollers. This results in a noisy bearing with a greatly reduced lifespan.

Q. Do I need to replace the housing of my mounted unit or can I just replace the bearing?
A. We recommend you replace the entire unit. For most mounted units, the bearing is about 80-85% of the cost of the whole unit and when they are manufactured, the bearing and housing are machined to fit each other. Over time, the housing may become worn and the bearing can become loose in the housing. Simply replacing the bearing will not fix this problem.

Q. How do I know if I am using the correct bearing?
A. First, make sure your replacement bearing matches the existing bearing. This isn't necessarily foolproof, however, if the bearing has been changed in the past. You should also reference any drawings or parts books you have for identification of the bearing. Last, if the bearing is giving an unsatisfactory life, examination of a failed bearing from the application along with review of the specifics (speed, load, environment) should give your Applied Industrial Technologies representative a basis for suggesting alternate replacements.

Q. How can I lubricate my bearings in hard to reach areas?
A. Several manufactures supply portable lubricators that control and monitor the amount of lubrication dispensed while replacing manual lubrication. For hard-to-reach areas, try the Lubesite 900 refill kit. The Lubesite 900 provides 10’ of ¼” nylon tubing along with adapter fittings to accommodate great distances.

Q: I've got a pillow block in between a huge motor and reducer. How can I avoid disassembling the shaft from either one?
A: The best case scenario would be if you have an existing SAF pillow block. All you need to do is take the top of the SAF pillow block off, cut off your old spherical bearing, and replace it with a split bearing and two split seals. If you do not have an existing SAF block, you will need to make changes on your base to center and bolt hole spacing, but sometimes it is well worth making those changes. You will save downtime to disassemble and reassemble. Refer to the bearing catalog and make sure your new split bearing will accept the RPM on your application. If you are unsure about installation, Applied Industrial Technologies can arrange to have a bearing manufacturer's representative help you.

Q: I am using setscrew pillow block bearings on a machine with a forward/reverse application. The setscrews are coming loose and allowing the shaft to spin in the bearings. What can be done to eliminate this problem?
A: Try the Dodge GripTight ball bearing. It uses a push/pull adapter system, fully concentric 360-degree inner ring, allowing full contact to the shaft through the length of the bearing. This eliminates the "3-point" contact of a traditional setscrew bearing, which can loosen over time in a reversing application.

Q. What is the most effective locking for mounting a pillow block bearing?
A. It depends on the type of pillow block. The ultimate locking device for a pillow block to a straight shaft is to use a tapered sleeve mount, where a split sleeve tapered on the outside diameter (but straight on the inside where it meets the shaft) mates with a bearing with a tapered bore. As a locknut on the face of the sleeve is tightened, it will draw the sleeve into the bearing, reducing the split, and pulling tightly around the shaft to the full shaft diameter. This makes a very strong and secure mount. In the past, these mounts were only available on a few types of bearings (primarily spherical roller bearings in split housings), but in the past five years, several manufacturers have been offering this mount in a variety of bearing styles, including the old standby standard light duty ball bearing. If this style of tapered sleeve mount isn't offered in the bearing style you need, an alternate would be the split inner ring with concentric collar that Sealmaster pioneered as the "Skwezloc" mounting device, and is now offered by several manufacturers.

Q. Can I use any brand of carriage with an existing square rail?
A. No. Each manufacturer designs their carriage to fit their rail.

Q. Can I damage seals by greasing a bearing?
A. To avoid damaging seals by over-greasing, first check how much pressure your grease gun can deliver. It should be as much as 5,000 psi. Next, determine how much pressure the seals of a standard mounted bearing can handle before becoming damaged. Depending on the brand, it should be around 15-30 psi. If both of these criteria are met, then you should not have problems with over-greasing and damaged seals.

Q. When securing an eccentric locking collar bearing to the shaft, which direction do I turn the collar?
A. By design, the eccentric collar is to be secured in the direction it will be turning. By doing this, the collar will actually continue to tighten its grip to the shaft and the cam of the bearing. This type of locking device has one the fullest contacts to the shaft and has the least chance of loosening.




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