Lubricate ball bearings

Ball bearings are a form of rolling bearings in which one or two rows of balls serve as rolling elements. They are used for small to medium radial loads. They have become indispensable in mechanical engineering. They can be found as a component of the chassis in cars or are required in the bicycle industry. Ball bearings are also used in sectors such as the medical or packaging industry. If ball bearings should function as desired, they must be supplied with the appropriate lubricant. Depending on the application, this can be oil or grease.

Ball bearings on wood
Ball bearings require good lubricants

Which oil to use for ball bearings?

It always depends on the specific application which oil is best suited for ball bearings. Depending on the load and external circumstances, the lubricant must be adapted. In general, both mineral oils and synthetic oils can be used for ball bearing lubrication. Synthetic oils are mainly used for high temperature fluctuations in the working process.

The viscosity of the oils is important. If the viscosity is too low, it is not enough to completely separate the contact surfaces in the ball bearings. However, if the viscosity is too high, the lubricant friction increases and problems can occur when feeding and draining the oil. Therefore, it should be calculated in advance exactly which oil is suitable for your system. Our application technology department can help you with this. Oils are used for ball bearings when high speeds and temperatures prevail in order to dissipate the heat generated in the best possible way. Under these conditions, they lubricate more reliably than greases.

Grease for ball bearings

Greases can also be used for ball bearing lubrication. They seal the bearing points against dirt and prevent corrosion due to their water-repellent effect. The consistency of greases is generally in the range of NLGI class 2 or 3. The consistency of greases is equivalent to the viscosity of oils. The consistency of a grease describes its resistance to deformation by external influences. Depending on the specific application, the consistency must be adapted. Lubricating greases are used at lower speeds and operating temperatures.

Lithium soap grease for the lubrication of rolling bearings


Steffen Homberg

Product Manager Special Lubricants

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