Proper Handling Practices for Bearings

Like all mechanical components, bearings need to be protected from environmental interference and regularly inspected to ensure that they work properly. However, poor work practices can also harm bearing performance. To preserve their geometrical tolerances, ball bearings, especially miniature and instrument series, need to be treated gently. Many bearing failures end up being due to improper handling techniques, rather than manufacturing defects.

When a bearing’s surface is compromised by foreign matter, it can cause excessive noise, friction, ball skidding, overheating, and reduced lubrication life. To prevent this from occurring, follow proper handling techniques such as:

  • Do not handle bearings with bare hands. Instead, use talc-free finger cots, or talc-free surgical gloves.
  • Keep work areas clean. This especially means no smoking or eating in the work environment.
  • Keep bearings in their original packaging until they are used, to prevent contamination. Keep them dry as well, as water can lead to rusting or interfere with mounting.
  • Always check the bearing housing and shafts for their physical condition and any signs of damage. Use clean room wipes and swabs to clean the housing and shafts.
  • Always use proper bearing work tools, such as bearing pullers, fitting tool kits, oil injector kits, hydraulic nuts bearing, induction heaters, and more in the mounting and dismounting process. Always keep bearing work tools clean and burr-free.
  • Avoid sources of magnetism, as they can cause metal dust and shavings to collect.
  • When mounting bearings, mount them squarely on the shaft and into the housing. Do not try to hammer them into place, as this can damage the rolling elements and cause them to misalign. When press fitting a bearing, only apply force to the ring being fitted.
  • Do not subject bearings to shock or impact loads.
  • Always properly lubricate bearings, with lubricant suitable to the environment, temperature, speeds, and loads that the bearings will face. Consulting manufacturer recommendations can help.
  • When working with miniature bearings, wear a lint-free cap, covers, and smock to absolutely prevent foreign contaminants leaving your body and landing on the bearings.

At NSN Axis, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the bearings for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-269-264-4495.


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