A comprehensive engineers' reference source for radial ball bearings and thrust ball bearing




Bearings are supplied in packages that are usually sealed after final inspection in class 100 clean room conditions. Even sub-micron contaminants can have a serious adverse affect on several aspects of bearing performance:

  • Torque
  • Noise
  • Bearing life
    - Ball skidding
    - Lubricant degradation
    - Heat build up

Comtamination affects bearing noise

Contamination is avoided by installing bearings in a clean environment. While a clean room or laminar flow workbench is recommended, these are not essential for normal applications as long as basic precautions are used.
  • Avoid handling bearings with bare hands. Use talc-free finger cots or surgical gloves. This is particularly important to avoid corrosion of 52100 chrome steel bearings.
  • Work areas and benches should be cleaned daily to avoid dust build up.
  • Keep bearings in original packaging until used. Never leave bearings exposed to the environment.
  • Work tools must be kept clean and burr-free
  • It is preferable that assembly workers wear clean external clothing (caps, smocks, shoe-covers) that meets clean-room specifications. No make-up or cosmetic powder.
  • Mating components should be cleaned prior to use. Be careful in the choice of cleaning materials as regular cotton swabs and cleaning cloths may add contamination from lint. Use specific lint-free clean room products.

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