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Ball Bearing Lubrication and Surface Finishes

1.9 Lubrication and Surface Finishes


Rolling contact bearings have to be lubricated in addition to having exceedingly good surface
finishes.

The life of a rolling element bearing depends to a large extent on the smoothness of the
contacting surfaces – the balls, rollers, and races. Typical surface roughness dimensions for
production bearings are as follows:

Balls 2– 3 μin rms
Ball races 6–10 μin rms
Rollers 8–12 μin rms
Roller races 10–20 μin rms

These are in terms of microinches or millionths of an inch, usually written μin. The unit of measurement of the surface roughness is rms which stands for "root-mean-square
height". This value is obtained by drawing a diamond point instrument over the surface with a
magnified readout. These measurements are taken at equidistant points on the profile, squaring
these values, adding them, dividing the sum by the number of readings taken and taking the
square root of this average.

There are calibrated specimens available and surface roughness can be established by comparison to the specimen.

Surface finishes of bearings vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer. They are
usually not given specifically for each product.

As far as lubrication is concerned, in general, the application environment will usually dictate
the proper lube required. Today's lubrication selection has varied greatly over the past few years.
Modern methods of mixing, compounding and blending various additives and bases has become
a very exact science, a far cry from late 1940 when almost all lubricants were a refined petroleum
products.

Operational conditions such as temperature, loads, speed, environment and torque available,
will determine what type should be used – oil, grease or dry films. Oil fluid is the base lubricant
for nearly all bearings, whereas grease is an oil that has been thickened. The use of lubrication
will reduce friction and wear, prevent corrosion or oxidation and help to prevent heat buildup
within the bearing. Other benefits that result from proper lubrication are quietness, lower torque
and extended life. Lubrication selection is very important to good bearing performance. The
following tables of lubrications shown are the most widely used by bearing users today. Due to
the constant change of product demand and scientific technology, we recommend that an SDP/SI
engineer be consulted
if you cannot locate a suitable lubrication in the following charts.

SDP/SI supplies bearings with an oil lubrication meeting military specifications (MIL-L-6085A), grease meeting (MIL-G-23827A), or Beacon 325 commercial grease. Other lubricants available on special order.

Table 1-10 Available Lubricants
Brand Name Basic Type Oil Operating Temperature °F Uses
*WIndsor L245X
(MIL -L-6085A)
Synthetic oil -65 to +300 Light general purpose instrument oil
DuPont
Krytox 143 AC
Fluorinated oil -30 to +550 High temperature stability with good lubricity properties
AeroShell #7
(MIL-G-23827A)
Diester -100 to +300 Wide temperature range; good general purpose grease
Texaco Low Temp EP
(MIL-G-23827A)
Synthetic Ester -65 to +250 Low torque at cold temperature
*Exxon Beacon 325 Synthetic grease -65 to +250 General purpose grease
*Exxon Andok C Channeling petroleum grease -20 to +250 Smooth running, long life with minimum migration
Toray SH44M Silicone grease -25 to +350 Higher temperature stability
*Mobil 28
(MIL-G-81322)
Synthetic hydrocarbon -65 to +350 Wide temperature range, good low temperature torque, general purpose
Multemp PS No. 2 Petroleum grease -60 to +250 Low torque, general purpose grease
Chevron SRI-2 Mineral grease -20 to +350 High speed, high load grease
*Shell Alvania X2 Mineral grease -30 to +250 Long life
DuPont Krytox 240AC
(MIL-G-27617)
Fluorinated grease -30 to +550 High temperature stability with good lubricity properties
KYODO SRL Synthetic grease -40 to +300 Low noise and low torque applications
NIG-ACE W Synthetic grease 0 to +300 Low noise and low torque applications
Isoflex J 032R Synthetic grease -60 to +250 High speed, low torque grease
U-1494 Synthetic grease -40 to +350 High speed, high load applications
* Most popular and readily available lubrication.

Table 1-11 Oil Lubricant Available on Special Order
Manufacturer & Trade Name Mil.
Spec
Operating Temp. Range, °F Type Pouring Point, °F Flash Point, °F Viscosity CS
75 °F / 210 °F
 
Anderson Oil Company
LS252 MIL-17353A -65/250 Diester -75 340 7.6/1.9
Bendix Corp.
P10 MIL-L-6085A -70/350 Diester -80 420 23.4/3.8
Bray Oil Co.
NPT3A
885
NPT9
MIL-L-6085 -65/175
-50/400
-30/350
Diester
Diester
Ester
-90
-85
-50
400
410
495
19/ 3.5
1875/ 9
710/55
Dow Corning
DC200
DC510
DC550
FS1265
VVL1078
MIL-L-27694
-40/550
-70/500
-40/450
-50/300
Silicone
Silicone
Silicone
Silicone
-50
-80
-50
-30
600
600
600
500
Various
Various
125/20
Various
DuPont, E.I.
Krytox 143 AB   -45 / 450 Perfluor -45 500 85/10.3
Exxon Corporation
P15A
Aviation Inst. Oil
Univis P12
Univis P38
MIL-L-7808
MIL-L-7870
MIL-L-6085A
MIL-L-6085
-65/300
-65/290
-75/300
-65/300
Diester
Petroleum
Diester
Diester
-75
-70
-90
-70
450
300
410
415
22/3.5
17/2.6
30/3.6
72/37
General Electric
Versilube F44
Versilube F50
Versilube SF81
Versilube SF96
MIL-S-81087 -100/500
-100/400
-40/400
-40/400
Silicone -100
-100
-55
-50
550
550
600
600
70/15
75/22
Various
40/16.5
Gulf Oil Company
Synthetic Fluid #6   -50/275 Mineral -90 295 3200/12
Houghton Oil
Cosmolube 270A MIL-L-6085A -65/250 Diester -70 365 15/3.5
Mobil Oil
SHC824
XRL743A
  -50/350
-50/350
Synthetic
Synthetic
-65
-65
455
520
100/6.5
100/6.5
MPS Corporation
MO119   -30/250 Synthetic -80 455 119 @ 100°F
Shell Oil Company
Aeroshell #3
Aeroshell #12
Aeroshell #4
MIL-L-7870
MIL-L-6085A
MIL-H-5606
-70/240
-70/300
-70/500
Petroleum
Diester
Petroleum
-75
-70
-85
275
365
215
16.5/2.3
21.5/3.5
859/10.4
Tenneco Chemical
Anderol L401D
Anderol L423
MIL-L-6085A -75/260
-80/350
Diester
Synthetic
-80
-100
430
370
19.7/3.4
200/5.1

Table 1-12 Greases Available on Special Order

Manufacturer & Trade Name Mil.
Spec
Operating Temp. Range, °F Base Oil Thickener Color
 
American Oil Company
Rykon Premium #2
Rykon Premium #3
Supermil ASU31052
Supermil ASU72832
MIL-G-25013
MIL-G-23827A
-10/200
-20/250
-100/450
-100/250
Mineral
Mineral
Silicone
Diester
Arylurea
Arylurea
Arylurea
Lithium
Reddish
Pink
Lavender
Amber
Bray Oil Company
Braycote 627S
Braycote 637S
601
MIL-G-23827
MIL-G-25537
-100/300
-65/260
-100/390
Ester
Mineral
Polyether
Organic
Calcium Soap
Tetrafluor
Lt. Brown
Lt. Brown
Off White
Chevron Oil Company
BRB-2
OHT
NRR335
MIL-G-3545C -20/350
+20/300
-65/300
Mineral
Mineral
Synthetic Aeromatic
Polyurea
Sodium
Sodium
Blue Green
Greenish
Maroon
Dow Corning
Molykote BR2 Plus Molykote 33
Molykote 41
Molykote 44
Molykote 55M
MIL-G-46886A
MIL-G-4343
-20/300
-100/350
0/550
-100/400
-65/350
Mineral
Silicone
Silicone
Silicone
Silicone
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium
Black
Gray
Black
Dark Amber
Tan
DuPont, E.I.
Krytox 240AA
Krytox 240AB
Krytox 240AZ
Krytox 240AC
MIL-G-27617
MIL-G-27617
MIL-G-27617
MIL-G-27617
-30/450
-30/450
-65/300
-30/550
Fluor Carbon
Fluor Carbon
Fluor Carbon
Perfluor
Vidax
Vidax
Vidax
Tetrafluor
White
White
White
White
Exxon Corporation
Andok B
Andok 260
MIL-G-18709A
MIL-G-3545C
-20/250
-20/250
Mineral
Mineral
Sodium
Sodium
Brown
Amber
General Electric
Versilube G351 MIL-L-15719A -40/400 Silicone Lithium Cream
Houghton E. F.
Cosmolube 615 MIL-L-4343 -65/375 Silicone Lithium Lt. Brown
Kyodo Yushi
PS #2   -60/230 Diester Lithium White
Mobil Oil
BRB #23
Mobil 24
Mobil 27
MIL-L-7711
MIL-G-25013
MIL-G-23827
-0/250
-100/550
-65/325
Petroleum
Silicone
Carbon
Sodium
Organic
Non Soap
Tan
Reddish
Tan
NYE Rheolube
703A
716B
781D
899RP
2000
Rheo Temp 500
MIL-G-3278A -30/250
-60/300
-95/390
-130/480
-60/260
-65/350
Mineral
Polyol Ester
Silicone
Fluorether
Hydrocarbon
Diester
Sodium
Lithium
Lithium
PTFE
Organic
Sodium
Tan
Tan
Off White
White
Red
Blue
Royal Lubricant
Royco 13D
Royco 21
Royco 22MS
Royco 27A
Royco 37
Royco 64C
MIL-G-25013
MIL-G-7421
MIL-G 81827
MIL-G-23827
MIL-G-25537
MIL-G-21164
-100/450
-100/250
-80/360
-100/300
-65/250
-65/250
Silicone
Diester
Diester
Diester
Mineral
Diester
PTFE
Lithium
Clay
Lithium
Calcium Soap
Lithium
Lavender
Brownish
Black
Brownish
Tan
Black
Shell Oil
Aeroshell #5
Aeroshell #6
Aeroshell #7
Aeroshell #14
Aeroshell #17
Aeroshell #22
Alvania #3
Cyprina #3
Dolium R #2
Darina
MIL-G-3545C
MIL-G-24139
MIL-G-23827A
MIL-G-23827
MIL-G-21164
MIL-G-81322A
MIL-G-81322C
MIL-G-18709

MIL-G-18709
-20/300
-40/250
-100/300
-65/250
-100/300
-80/350
-30/275
-0/250
-30/300
-0/300
Petroleum
Mineral
Diester
Mineral
Diester
Diester
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral

Microgel
Microgel
Microgel
Calcium Soap
Microgel
Microgel
Lithium
Lithium
Ashless
Microgel

Dark Brown
Amber
Amber
Tan
Dark Gray
Dark Gray
Amber
Lt. Tan
Amber
Amber
Tenneco Chem. (Huls)
Anderol 753A
Anderol 757
Anderol 761
Anderol 793A
Anderol 794
Anderol 795

MIL-G-3278A
-40/300
-40/300
-40/400
-65/300
-65/250
-65/300
Diester
Diester
Diester
Diester
Diester
Diester
Lithium
Lithium
Silica
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium
Lt. Brown
Lt. Brown
Lt. Brown
Lt. Amber
Lt. Amber
Off White
Texaco Oil Company
Premium RB
Low Temp
EP Regal AFB #2
Unitemp 500

MIL-G-23827
MIL-G-18709
MIL-G-3278A
-30/325
-65/250
-40/250
-65/350
Mineral Synthetic
Mineral
Parafin
Diester
Lithium
Lithium
Lithium
Sodium
Orange
Purplish Brown
Green
Blue