As a mechanic that works on industrial electric motors, you know that having the right tools and parts is essential to maintaining the function and longevity of expensive machinery. When it comes to replacing bearings in an industrial electric motor, your mindset should be no different. Quality bearings can make all the difference in how well your machinery runs, but they also must be the right fit. Understanding bearing internal clearance is a key component to finding the best bearings for your industrial electric motor.
How Is Bearing Clearance Measured?
Bearing clearance is essential to making sure that the bearings can turn without binding. Different clearance levels are denoted using the following suffixes: C0, which is known as “standard clearance”; C2, which is “less than standard clearance”; C3, which is “greater than standard clearance”; and C4, which is “greater than C3 clearance”. Each of these clearances is very small. With a 25mm bearing being standard, the commonly used C3 would have a clearance of only one thousandth of an inch.
When Is Increased Bearing Clearance Acceptable?
Like we talked about in this blog post, extra clearance is acceptable in a few situations. Those times include when there is a significant press fit on the shaft and/or housing, when there is a slight misalignment between the bearing housing and shaft, and when the motor is being used in elevated temperatures. Each of these situations can cause the internal clearance around the bearing to decrease, so it is imperative that extra bearing clearance is given to ensure the bearings maintain their function.
In addition to that, a little extra bearing clearance is acceptable in most scenarios because it ensures that the bearings have some clearance at all times. Once the bearings are installed and are at operating temperature, they should experience no interference, as that can cause friction, heat, and early fatigue failure.
Ceramic vs. Steel Bearings
Another important factor in choosing which bearing you will need is determining which material your ball bearing should be made out of. CBR’s ceramic hybrid ball bearings are an excellent choice over steel ball bearings for a few reasons. First, these ceramic bearings are non-conductive, meaning that they eliminate electrical arcing through the bearing. This is an essential feature, especially when using them in an electric motor. Another benefit is that they have 40% less friction than a steel bearing resulting in higher efficiency and increased RPMs. One final benefit that ceramic bearings have over steel bearings is the fact that they are more durable. This fact mostly speaks for itself, but it’s important to note that ceramic bearings can last as much as ten times longer than steel bearings.
At CBR Bearing, we provide helpful, quality service to ensure that you get the best bearings with the proper clearance for your motor every time. Contact us today if you are ready to place an order, or if you just have any questions. Our customer service representatives will be happy to give you the help you need.