Best practices for conquering contamination

ball bearing with contamination

Mineral extraction and processing creates a large amount of dust, which can be very abrasive. Bearings, couplings, chains and other machine components often fail due to particle contamination. In fact, 51% of bearing failures are due to contamination and ineffective lubrication.


Mining Insights 51 percent horizontal 0901d196804fd183

Mixed with lubricant, small particles will become a grinding medium that wears down the components causing them to deteriorate. Larger particles create indentations on the bearing rolling surfaces causing failure. Finally, water corrodes metallic parts and modifies lubricant properties. These issues can be mitigated by using proper technical solutions and/or best practices including:

  • Use of proper sealing solutions such as sealed bearings, shaft seals and SKF Speedi-Sleeve wear sleeves
  • Adapting relubrication intervals or using centralized lubrication systems
  • Correct maintenance tools will decrease maintenance operations and contamination risks
  • Upgraded SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings, CARB toroidal roller bearings and spherical roller thrust bearings all have improved heat treatment - making them much less prone to wear - and provide longer service life in contaminated and poor lubrication conditions

More about sealing solutions for harsh environments

Read this Evolution magazine article to learn more about how sealing technology is improving the performance of bearings in split block housings.
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