Spherical Plain Bearing Lubricants for Triangle Manufacturing Products

Spherical Plain Bearing Lubricants for Triangle Manufacturing Products

The type of spherical plain bearing lubricant and its recommended maintenance depends upon the product and its application. Spherical plain bearing lubrication can be broadly classified into two types: liquid lubricated, dry or solid lubricated.

Spherical Plain Bearings with oil

Liquid-lubricated bearings depend on a hydrodynamic film separating the bearing and journal surfaces. Separation occurs when pressures generated by sheer forces in the film are high enough to support the load.

Although we provide a full supply of oil at the factory, we recommend lubricating bearings again at installation because conditions encountered during shipping and storage may cause some oil loss. Triangle steel bearing ball units have large oil retaining felts for substantial lubricant capacity. Once the bearing is in use and the ball and felt are saturated with oil, you can expect long bearing life under proper operating conditions.

We supply a high-grade industrial mineral oil that is non-detergent at SAE 30 viscosity. If you use bearings at elevated or very low temperatures, you may require a different viscosity.

Oil-lubricated spherical plain bearing applications

Plain Bearings that operate at high or moderate speeds under relatively clean conditions are generally oil lubricated. Oil provides the necessary lubricity and film pressures without excessive drag due to viscosity.

Types of spherical plain bearing lubrication for oil

The type of oil you use on Triangle Manufacturing products will depend on the part. If your part number ends in:

Spherical Plain Bearings with grease

Spherical plain bearings with grease fittings are not factory lubricated. Apply grease with a pressure gun at installation, filling the spherical plain bearing until grease appears at the shaft surface.

Note: All Triangle bearings are shipped without grease so you can control the lubrication selection, which varies based on application.

Grease-lubricated spherical plain bearing applications

At lower speeds and particularly in a high-load application, we recommend a heavier lubricant like grease because the increased viscosity will build up film pressure. Grease also restricts external contaminants from entering the bearing, so it is preferred for dusty and dirty applications.

Types of spherical plain bearing lubrication for grease

The type of grease you use depends on the product. If your part number ends in:

Spherical Plain Bearings with wax

Gulf Plastic Petroleum "E," although solid at temperatures below 160 degrees Fahrenheit, is classified as a liquid. The material’s thixotropic properties cause a drop in viscosity as soon as the shaft starts to turn. It feeds slowly through the bushing by capillary action, replacing lubricant that has dissipated.

Ball units are factory lubricated and many are closed balls or equipped with removable plugs for relubrication. In either case, bearings lubricated with Plastic E will perform satisfactorily in proper applications for several years without relubrication. We recommended operating in temperatures that range from 30 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Frequency of the bearing’s use and the length of operation also are important factors when using Plastic E.

Applications with wax lubrication

Plastic E is commonly used in "sealed-for-Iife" blower bearing applications in the heating and air conditioning industry. The bushing materials commonly used in liquid-lubricated bearings are grooved sintered bronze and graphited cast bronze.

Dry Lubricant Spherical Plain Bearings

These bearings operate satisfactorily without supplementary lubrication, but at relatively low loads and speeds. In addition, dry bearings wear out faster, so that expected service life is less than a liquid-lubricated bearing. However, they are economical, and adjacent parts or materials don’t get contaminated by oily lubricants. The N Series nylon ball is a good representation of this type.


Types of Spherical Plain bearing lubrication

At Triangle Manufacturing, we use several lubrication methods depending upon bearing type:

Type A: Oil lubricated with an oil cup

Type G: Grease lubrication with grease zerk

Type F (Plastic E): A closed, smooth ball with no openings or protrusions

Type J: Grease lubrication with grease zerk at an angle

Type K: Oil lubricated with an oil cup at an angle

Type P: Closed smooth ball with no openings or protrusions


Spherical Plain Bearings with special lubricant

We are not limited to the lubrication methods described above.

If you have questions about which bearing lubricant is right for your component or application, contact us or call (920) 235-3710.


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