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This paper deals with the influence of rolling bearing lubrication on bearing operation and service life. Hydraulic fluids, especially when they contain water, do not always provide optimum conditions. Coatings or bearing steels specifically developed for such applications cannot completely compensate for the negative effects. It is therefore interesting to consider a separate lubrication system for the bearings, e.g. one based on grease. Then, however, grease service life can be more critical than bearing fatigue or wear. Accordingly, recent experimental and theoretical investigations into the tribological performance characteristics of bearing lubricating greases, especially the effect of their composition on service life, are presented.
Rolling element bearing life, water-based hydraulic fluids, bearing lubrication, seals, grease lubrication, elastohydrodynamic fluid films, grease life
Professor, Engineering Design and Tribology, University of Hannover, Hannover,