Machine Design

Scanning for ideas: Special housing keeps bearings cool

The SONL oil-lubricated bearing housing from SKF USA Inc., Kulpsville, Pa. (, uses oil-bath cooling for operations in which bearing temperatures might otherwise exceed 180?F.

Oil in the reservoir is below the bearing, eliminating heat from the bearing churning through the oil. For more cooling, optional single or dual tubes, each operating independently, send water into and out of the housing. Tests show that one tube using 59F water reduces bearing and oil temperature by 12 and 32F, respectively. Two cooling tubes reduces them by 16 and 38F.

The design uses fewer parts than the company’s last bearing housing. For example, the previous housing needed up to 20 bolts on end covers. The new design has no end covers. Fewer parts reduces the risk of oil leakage. Labyrinth seals prevent contaminants from entering the bearing and are built to retain oil, feeding it back into the cast-iron housing. It can be adapter or directly mounted

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