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4 Methods to Prevent Bearing Corrosion 2020 [Right Now]

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4 Methods to Prevent Bearing Corrosion 2020 [Right Now]

Issue Time:2019-07-24

4 Methods to Prevent Bearing Corrosion 2020 [Right Now]

ball bearing corrosion

For bearings, bearing corrosion is often an undetected and deadly enemy. While stainless steel and chrome steel bearings have corrosion resistance.  They are still vulnerable, particularly when people stored them incorrectly in harsh environments, where humidity and condensation can ultimately lead to rusting. Even the smallest exposure to chemicals, dirt, and other contaminants, can increase the risk of corrosion and significantly reduce the life of your bearings.

By the time rust appears, it’s usually too late to save your bearing. Prolonged exposure to water can cause deep-seated rust, forming grey-black streaks, cracks, flakes and premature bearing failure. Measure the true cost of rust by the downtime it causes and the costly replacement of machine components. So your first line of defense is prevention. Here, we detail the four most successful ways to protect your bearings from corrosion.

Better Bearing Materials

To improve the corrosion resistance of standard steel material bearings, choose a design that uses stainless-steel balls. These bearings typically use standard grade 400 stainless-steel which has a decent load capacity as well as moderate corrosion resistance. For even better resistance, grade 300 stainless-steel bearings are available, however, it can reduce their load capacity. Hybrid bearings, using ceramic balls and stainless-steel races, are the ultimate choice for effective rust prevention. Ceramic is chemically inert, making it highly resistant to corrosion, and hybrid bearings in the right applications can run faster, operate at higher temperatures and further reduce vibration.

Protective Coatings to Prevent Bearing Corrosion

By applying a protective coating to your bearings, you can create a barrier that prevents contaminants from reaching the bearing surface. In some cases, the inner and outer bearing rings both have a protective coating, of which the most common types are chromium and nickel plating, zinc thermal sprays, and black oxide. An added benefit of a protective coating is that it hardens the raceways and increases the life of the bearing.

Tighter Bearing Seals

For bearings in highly corrosive environments, a tighter, stronger seal, made from higher-quality materials, is often an effective method for preventing rust. Specially designed seals can prevent water, micro-dust, and chemicals from penetrating the bearing, which is often the first and the best choice for resisting corrosion.

Bearing Grease to Prevent Bearing Corrosion

In an environment where machines are often in humidity or moisture conditions. A water-resistant grease or lubricant is a safe bet to ward off rust. The grease acts as a protective coating, creating a barrier between the surface of the bearing and any possible contaminants. It’s important, however, not to use too much grease, as this can cause its own set of problems.