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Preloading Ball Bearings Part V: Final Considerations Before Preloading

Welcome to the final installment of The Bearing Blog’s focus on preloading ball bearings. Today, we’re going to take a look at the questions that need to be asked before deciding which preload method will be best for your unique situation.

Want to catch up on the previous entries before continuing? You can find them here:

Before deciding which preloading method to employ, designers should be aware of the following considerations and answer these questions:

  • What is the desired or acceptable amount of deflection?
  • What are the operating temperatures?
  • Are there concerns with torque?
  • Is there rapid acceleration or deceleration?
  • Is the application torque sensitive?
  • Is there moment loading or misalignment?

Armed with this information, preload options can be explored with a bearing expert.

Finally, as a general rule, a preloaded bearing assembly can only handle an axial load equal to approximately three times the preload amount. Beyond this load, one of the bearings in the pair will become unloaded and the deflection rate will equal that of a single bearing.

That completes our round-up on preloading bearings, we hope that it illuminated some of the concepts and best-practices. If you have any questions about preload, or any bearing-related topic, our experts and engineering team are ready to lend their assistance, contact them here.