To explain why over-greasing bearings can be troublesome, BSC Agriculture, food and beverage manager, Chris Wheatley, resorts to a donut analogy.
“There’s only a certain amount of jam you can fill into a donut before jam oozes out from the other end. Similarly, if you over-grease a bearing, the seals can dislodge allowing contamination into the bearing,” Wheatley said,
“High operating temperatures can also occur with a high volume of grease. Too much grease in the bearing cavity will cause the rotating bearing elements to build pressure and begin churning the grease. This will lead to oxidation, which is separation of the oil from the thickener.”
And while modestly filled donuts can be a disappointment, under-greased bearings can have the same life-shortening effect as over-greasing, as Wheatley further explains.
“Bearings that are under-greased tend to heat up quickly too when there is no lubrication film between the rolling elements. The metal-to-metal contact will shorten the service life considerably,” he said.
Maintaining the optimum amount of grease in bearings was something that a CBC Regency Park branch customer, a major independent brewer in Adelaide, was looking to eliminate from their maintenance routine altogether.
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