Heat, either directly applied or generated in service, plays a significant role in the life of a bearing, being both beneficial and potentially detrimental at different stages of its lifecycle. SKF's Phil Burge, Marketing and Communications Manager explains how heat can be used beneficially as an aid to bearing installation, and describes the negative effects that excessive heat will have on lubricants when the bearing is in service.
Heat is the inevitable result of friction in rotating machinery and bearings are in the front line where friction is concerned. Their role is to reduce it, thereby minimising internal temperature rises and their unwanted consequences such as lubricant deterioration and premature bearing failure. But heat has a very positive role to play at the earliest stage of the bearing’s lifecycle when it is prepared for installation on a shaft or within a housing.