Keeping Your Bearings
Linear Ball Bearings
When it comes to linear bearings, it’s all about keeping things running cleanly and smoothly for the long haul. Preventing contamination is a big part of this as contaminants can cause premature wearing such as denting and galling. The most common forms of contamination are the metal chips and dust that are generated in machining or manufacturing operations. These can infiltrate linear guides and interfere with the workings of the bearings. Food debris is another form of contamination seen in food processing. Whether metal or food, these contaminants cause immediate functionality issues as well as long-term wear problems. And this can affect the accuracy of positioning as well as the quality of the product. So what can you do to avoid this while also minimizing maintenance and downtime costs?
Some machine builders will include bellows and other kinds of covers to protect linear bearings, but this can add significant cost to the machine and can be a pain in terms of maintenance. Another option would be to consider different bearing styles. Linear ball bearing manufacturers produce many varieties of bearings, including those that are more equipped to cope with contamination. Larger diameter rollers, for instance, are capable of rolling over most contaminants without trouble. I would recommend looking into these as a less expensive option. However, some applications, such as the equipment used in cleanrooms, may require a physical cover between the machine and the product.
So, when it comes to overcoming contamination in linear bearings, the specific application may determine the best solution. It is important to evaluate every aspect surrounding the issue and decide what would work best for your operations. There are many options that can help you keep your bearings running smoothly.