Selecting super-precision bearings
A shaft system consists of more than just bearings. Associated components like the shaft and housings are integral parts of the overall system. The lubricant and sealing elements also play a crucial role. To maximize bearing performance, the correct amount of an appropriate lubricant must be present to reduce friction in the bearing and protect it from corrosion. Sealing elements are important because they keep the lubricant in and contaminants out of the bearing. This is particularly important since cleanliness has a profound effect on bearing service life. Therefore, SKF manufactures and sells a wide range of industrial seals and lubrication systems.
There are a number of factors that go into the bearing selection process:
- available space
- loads (magnitude and direction)
- precision and stiffness
- operating temperature
- vibration levels
- contamination levels
- lubrication type and method
Once a suitable bearing has been selected, there are several other factors that need to be considered:
- suitable form and design of other components in the arrangement
- appropriate fits and bearing internal clearance or preload
- locking devices
- adequate seals
- mounting and dismounting methods
When designing an application, every decision affects the performance, reliability and economy of the shaft system.
As the leading bearing supplier, SKF manufactures a large number of super-precision bearing types, series, designs, variants and sizes. The most common of them are introduced under Bearing types and designs.
Under Principles of bearing selection and application the designer can find the necessary basic information presented in the order in which it is generally required. Obviously, it is impossible to include all the information needed to cover every conceivable application. For this reason, in many places, reference is made to the SKF application engineering service. This technical service can perform complex calculations, diagnose and solve bearing performance issues, and help with the bearing selection process. SKF also recommends this service to anyone working to improve the performance of their application.