Bearing Speed II

Nov. 15, 2002
Limiting speed values for instrument bearings are almost impossible to determine.

Limiting speed values for instrument bearings are almost impossible to determine. However, generalizations may be made.

Bearing size: Highest speeds may be obtained with the smallest bearing. However, extremely small miniature bearings usually have a thin, weak retainer and their maximum speed is less than medium-size miniatures.

Load: Limiting speed is directly affected by the magnitude of applied load. Heavy loads result in a decreased speed capability. Use of a preloaded pair of bearings also decreases allowable speed.

Ring rotation: Inner-ring rotation gives higher speed capability. If the outer ring is rotating, limiting speed must be reduced by about one-third.

Retainer: Phenolic (and some other nonmetallic materials) -- very high speed; crown (hardened steel) -- high speed; ribbon (loosely clinched) -- low speed; full race -- moderate speed; spacers (PTFE) -- very low speed.

Lubricant: Stiff, mineral-oil grease -- high speed; soft, synthetic-oil grease -- moderate to high speed; soft, silicone grease -- low to moderate speed; mineral oil -- high speed; synthetic oil -- moderate speed; silicone oil -- low speed.

Lubricant method: Oil impregnation and grease pack -- excellent; oil impregnation -- very good; grease pack -- good; minimum oil -- fair.

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