BEARINGS by Application

Wear Life

It's important to consider the service life of a bearing in your application. What is the lifespan of your product? Is the product designed to be serviced or require replacement components? Does the bearing need to be maintenance-free and designed for the entire service life of the product?

Plain bearings and rolling bearings wear in very different ways.

Plain bearings are designed with a low-friction sliding surface which supports the shaft. Wear takes place as bearing material is slowly displaced over time. This is because plain bearings typically wear at an accelerated rate until the mating surfaces normalize and the load is distributed evenly across the entire contact surface area. This period is often referred to as the “run-in” period. Afterward, the bearing wears very slowly over its life.

Rolling element bearings wear quite differently. When used within their specifications, they typically don’t reveal any measurable or visible wear until the end of the bearing life, when they degrade very quickly. This is because it takes a long time for the bearing metal to fatigue. Once the metal has fatigued or developed other surface imperfections, the bearing will wear and fail rapidly.

Spyraflo has developed online tools and calculators to help you to determine bearing service life.

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