Optional SKF design features
A choice of materials
For most applications, SKF spherical plain bearings made of standard bearing steel requiring maintenance are an excellent choice. However, for difficult operating environments, SKF maintenance-free stainless steel spherical plain bearings may be preferred. For other material options, e.g. surface treatments, contact the SKF application engineering service.
With or without seals
Most popular sizes of SKF spherical plain bearings are available either open (without seals) or sealed on both sides (fig. 1). Standard sealed bearings can increase the service life of a bearing and save space, while reducing inventory and assembly costs. Maintenance-free bearings without seals have to be protected against contaminants.
Spherical plain bearings fitted on both sides with the SKF RS double lip seal are very effective, under normal operating conditions, at keeping contaminants away from the sliding contact surfaces. These seals also effectively retain the grease and therefore are appropriate for bearings requiring maintenance.
Maintenance-free bearings and all bearings operating in highly contaminated environments should be fitted with the SKF LS triple-lip heavy-duty contact seal (Sealing). They are reinforced with a steel insert and have three seal lips. These very effective seals protect the bearing against contaminants and enhance the operational reliability of the spherical plain bearing.
Wide operating temperature range
SKF spherical plain bearings and rod ends can operate effectively over a wide temperature range. The operating temperature range of open (without seals) steel/steel radial spherical plain bearings is –50 to +200 °C (-60 to +390 °F).