Air bearings have several industrial applications, ranging from light to heavy loads. Since manufacturers ensure high-quality production of air bearings, they require careful and correct handling and maintenance. Elon Musk’s vision of a not-so-difficult Hyperloop in Mars involves the use of air bearings that would power the pod in a low-pressure tube.
Mounting the air bearings or not handling them correctly can lead to early failure. As a result, correct selection, use and proper handling are essential.
Here are some essential guidelines on the proper handling of bearings:
1. General Handling Tips
Keep bearings and other parts clean. Check to ensure that the bearing’s dimensions and finish are suitable for its application. Keep the bearings clean of harmful substances, such as foreign particles and moisture. Make sure that you mount bearings in a way that fits their intended use and operating conditions.
Use the right tools to mount and remove things. Take care not to damage or bend bearings when you mount and remove them. Use the right amount of the right lubricant. Keep your hands clean to keep them from getting rusty. Wearing gloves can be a good option.
2. Using Tools
Even though sophisticated tools aren’t always needed when handling bearings, the correct use of tools in specific situations makes work easier and ensures the correct execution of the job. Engineers who design and inspect bearings must know how to handle and mount them correctly.
The goal of proper handling is to avoid any possible damage to the air bearings and make sure they serve their intended purpose.
3. Handling While Testing
After mounting, air bearings tested for abnormal noise and high bearing temperature also require proper handling. During the test, smooth bearing rotation is a good handling tip. If something goes wrong during the test, stop the test right away, remove the bearing, and inspect it based on the problem.
Lower operational speeds are preferable for high-speed machinery before gradually speeding them up. As a general rule, you can figure out how hot the bearings are by looking at the outside surface of the housing.
4. Handling During Inspection And Maintenance
Regular inspections and constant maintenance can keep the bearing in use for as long as possible to fix problems early on and avoid more significant problems or accidents in the future.
During operation, perform bearing inspections by listening to their sound, keeping an eye on their temperature, or feeling their vibration level. Even a small flake in the bearing will make a noise that isn’t normal or consistent. A skilled worker can quickly tell the difference between the noise and normal sound with a noise locator.
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