Incorrect lubrication is the main cause of bearing failure. Therefore, choosing a good wheel bearing grease is much more important than you think.
In fact, insufficient lubrication, degraded grease or the use of the wrong type of lubricant is the cause of 36% of bearing failures.
What is bearing grease?
Grease can be described as a “thick oil”. Bearing grease is usually manufactured using an oil base with a thickener and some other additives.
By varying these ingredients, it is possible to produce several different types of grease, useful for many different applications.
Generally, wheel bearing grease consists of a mixture of emulsified soap with mineral or vegetable oil. It is primarily a lubricant that can exhibit properties of a semi-solid structure and, after passing through some stresses, can flow as a liquid.
However, its most important characteristic is that it prevents corrosion and is a lubricating factor. When deciding which grease to use, the viscosity of the oil, its consistency, the thickener and the application for which it is designed must always be taken into account.
What is wheel bearing grease used for?
Grease is applied to systems that can be oiled and where that same oil does not remain in position. It also serves as a sealant to prevent water leakage. Grease lubrication in bearings provides remarkable friction qualities due to its high consistency.
When choosing the right grease for a bearing mechanism, keep in mind that choosing a normal or universal “all-purpose” grease can take its toll in the end.
It can do more harm than good if we do not choose the right wheel bearing grease wisely. Moreover, since bearings work in many operating conditions, we must match the lubricant perfectly to the application.
A tip for selecting the best wheel bearing grease
Before selecting the initial grease or switching to another grease, be sure to consult the machine manufacturer’s documentation. Not all greases are compatible with each other, and there may be machine components that are not compatible with some lubricant additives.
How to grease wheel bearings
To grease the bearings, the grease should be evenly distributed in the clearance between the rolling elements and the bearing rings.
The bearings should be turned by hand until all internal surfaces are covered.
For larger bearings, e.g. truck wheel bearings, we offer a bearing lubricator. The use of the lubricator can ensure that the grease is evenly distributed in the bearing between the rolling elements, cage and raceways.