HI PUMP FAQ
Understand advantages and disadvantages in this FAQ answered by Hydraulic Institute.
Hydraulic Institute

When is grease lubrication of bearings recommended?

The use of grease is primarily limited to lower horsepower, rolling element bearing applications (Image 1). Grease is usually lithium, with a normal viscosity of 100 centistokes, and it is usually limited to a service temperature of 93 C (200 F). To prevent the loss of grease and minimize the entrance of contaminants, shielded bearings may be used.  

bearing lubrication

IMAGE 1: Applying grease to bearings (Images courtesy of Hydraulic Institute)

Advantages & Disadvantages to Grease Lubrication

 

Advantages to grease lubrication include:

  • less sensitivity to level pump installation
  • simplified maintenance

Disadvantages to grease lubrication include:

  • Limited heat dissipation 
  • Overpressurization during regreasing can damage bearing shields. Therefore, follow manufacturer procedures to prevent overpressurization.
  • Grease used with sealed bearings can have higher frictional heat leading to accelerated oxidation of the grease.

For more information on bearing lubrication, refer to the free HI white paper, “Proper Lubrication Methods for Bearings,” at www.pumps.org/standards.

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