Published: Jan 1949
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The widespread use of antifriction bearings in electric motors is accompanied by an increasing interest in grease lubrication. Lubrication of antifriction bearings by greases offers the advantages of cleanliness and long life. With this expanding interest in grease lubrication has come an awakening interest in the sound engineering of bearing installations employing grease as the lubricant. In order to understand how to engineer a bearing installation we have to know something about the mechanism by which the lubrication takes place and something about the properties of the lubricants commercially available, so that the proper choice of both design and grease might be made. The engineer is, therefore, faced not only with the problem of discovering the mechanism of grease lubrication but also with the problem of determining the behavior of actual equipment. Usually the study of life expectancy in actual equipment is a very lengthy one, and he resorts to some form of laboratory testing on an accelerated scale in order to obtain the desired information more quickly. He is then faced with the additional problem of correlating his accelerated tests with the results he observes in actual equipment. This sort of study is a time-consuming one and a problem which requires many years to solve. This paper is an effort to illustrate the manner in which the problem has been attacked in our company. It will also indicate some of the theories concerning the mechanism of grease lubrication which have resulted from our experience, and the effect of these theories on the design of bearing installations. We will also attempt to show how the laboratory results can be correlated with field experience.
Wilcock, Donald F.
General Electric Co., West Lynn, Mass.
Apparatus Engineering Staff, General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.