Posts Tagged ‘seals’

Overview of the SKF Bearing Company

Friday, September 8th, 2017

SKF, short for Svenska Kullagerfabriken, is one of the world’s leading seal and bearing manufacturing businesses. It was first founded in 1907 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This company supplies and manufactures power-transmission products, mechatronics products, maintenance products, condition-monitoring systems, lubrication as well as lubrication systems, seals, bearings and related services on a global level in 130 countries.


Bearing Protection Best Practices

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

A lot can go wrong when dealing with bearings. With so many variables, it’s hard to think that even taking precautionary measures up front will save headaches down the line.

Nevertheless, it’s important to take those measures to protect bearings and ensure the longest life possible.

Today, we’ll go over some basic best practices for bearing protection, specifically suited to contaminated conditions where dust and moisture are prevalent.

It is difficult for bearings to operate in dusty or wet environments. In such conditions, the protection of bearings against contamination is paramount.

Proper Assembly

This will be the most important sentence of this post: If contamination occurs when the housing and bearing are joined, external protection won’t be sufficient to stop premature bearing failure.

This is the first and most vital checkpoint for making sure the bearings do not become contaminated early on.

When assembling the bearings into housings, take the following measures:

  1. Clear and wipe clean the work station.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  3. Ensure the air is as dust-free as possible.
  4. Use fresh, clean grease.
  5. Clean the components and remove all old grease, or buildup.

Housings and Seals

Although the bearing is contained within a housing, dust and moisture can enter via the shaft entry. There must be a reliable shaft seal to protect against bearing contamination inside the housing unit.

For dusty conditions, a labyrinth or contact type seal is best. Lip seals may have come with the equipment, and may work, but they wear down over time and will crack and deform, allowing dust or water to enter the bearing. Although this best practice is rarely followed, lip seals should be routinely replaced with better seal types.

If possible, use an automatic lubricator to keep the seals working their best. A small, consistent amount will force dust and moisture away from the bearing.

Note that a labyrinth seal requires the shaft to run straight and true. And, the gaps between the two parts in a labyrinth seal must be sealed to keep out contaminants.


Breathers release hot air from the confined space and allow air to return when the space is cool. Enclosed bearings get hot during operation, and cool when not being used.

If the air that’s drawn back into the space is contaminated with dust or moisture, the bearing will become contaminated.

A poorly screened or filtered breather will allow for bearing contamination and cause premature failure.

Replace the inadequate breather with a low-micron air filter that will remove dust particles to micron and bigger.

Additionally, be sure the breather is protected from water spray and damp conditions.

These protective measures will lengthen your bearings’ lifespan. Remember most importantly, that if the bearing is contaminated when put into the housing, it won’t easily become uncontaminated.

Bearings in Agricultural Applications

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Agriculture has been at the heart of civilization since it dawned on our ancestors that food security is critical to our livelihood.

Once it was determined that a place had good food security, we began settling and growing villages. And with the growing responsibility to feed a larger community, agricultural technology began to advance as well.

Fast forward to today. There is still food scarcity present in countries all over the world. The machinery used in agricultural endeavors plays a vital role in producing efficient and stable yields so that we can continue to feed our growing communities.


Tractors have become a primary asset in crop production and handling. And, depending on the size of the operation, they can be quite large beasts of burden.

A tractor needs to be able to operate efficiently in all types of weather and ground conditions. This can mean ensuring resistance against seal contamination from foreign debris, operating in excess mud and water, and a high potential for misalignment.

To continue to be economical, it’s also important that the tractor and its parts endure a long life, even through such harsh operating conditions.

Bearings are used in many components, including the engine, transmission, and wheel hubs of a tractor. Operating successfully, these bearings help pull and power the tractor by getting more horsepower to the ground.


Idle for most of their life, balers can be subjected to other harsh conditions during downtime, such as humidity.  This is problematic for its inner workings, especially since farmers rely on their machines to be top-notch when called on for their part.

At work, balers must operate constantly through a storm of dust. Its bearings are supporting pulleys and must continue to be reliable. Effective sealing is critical to bearing life when it comes to this machine. With proper sealing, contamination is less likely and will be less harmful.


The combine operates in the greatest extremes of all farm equipment. It lays idle for most of the year and then is called upon to be heavily operated for only a short amount of time. The wear and tear endured during operation, coupled with the amount of downtime this machine experiences puts unique strain on the bearings and other inner workings.

Like all other agricultural equipment, combines need to be utterly dependable. Unexpected maintenance and downtime can be costly not only to the farmer’s pocket, but also to the community they feed.

Combines also operate in dusty, muddy, and harsh weather and grounds conditions. Bearing designs must keep up, and seals must be ultra-reliable for these machines to do their part in the harvest.

Products and Solutions

Everything you need in agricultural applications can likely be found through NSK, Timken, and NTN. These powerhouse companies have the capability of specializing in multiple industries, and agriculture certainly is one of the largest.

There are new and innovative specialized bearings, lubricants, seals, and sensors being introduced to the market with each passing year.

Automotive Seals And Their Applications

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Without a doubt, seals are important in the automotive industry.

Oil Seals

They are also known as grease, fluid, or dirt seals. They’re considered to be an essential element in pretty much any type of running vehicle.

They protect every type of bearings and have three main purposes:

  • Holding and retaining lubricants and liquids
  • Keeping contaminants at bay
  • Seal or separate dissimilar fluids or gases


  • Axles
  • Camshafts
  • Crankshafts
  • Differentials
  • Input shafts
  • Pinions
  • Timing covers
  • Wheels

Commercial Vehicle Oil Seals

They are built to last and pave the way for less than perfect running conditions. They have rubber ribs that will cover the whole axle shoulder, sealing around grooves and nicks. The running surface of the seal is even and flexible, thus making it possible for the seal to move from side to side if need be. Vent holes found in commercial vehicle seals allow lube to flow to and from seal, and that mechanism keeps heat build-up at bay.


  • Commercial vehicles
  • Over-the-road equipment

O-Ring Seals

These seals are available for pretty much every operating vehicle, from motorcycle ATVs to off-road construction equipment.


  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Off-highway
  • Oil refineries
  • Power transmission


They can be utilized on a unusual or slightly misaligned shaft. They are composed mainly of rubber, making them totally easy to mount. You could slip them over the shaft and mount them against the counterface. They are ideal for retrofitting.


  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Off-highway
  • Oil refineries
  • Power transmission

SKF Fork Seal Demonstration vs Stock Seals

Monday, March 11th, 2013

This video talks about SKF Fork Seals. They are manufactured in Italy. These seals were developed to achieve superior sealing performance. SKF used a new self-lubricating compound. Also, they are proven to outlast stock seals almost all the time.

SKF Fork Seals offer more than 20% reduction in friction compared to standard seals. More to these, smoother fork action is very noticeable in SKF Fork Seal as compared to that of stock seal’s.

Furthermore, they are known to be compatible with a wide selection of original equipment and aftermarket oils. Increased seal life and performance are plus factors, as well. SKF also take pride in enhanced water and dirt protection capability of their fork seals and its ability to withstand UV light. Watch this video for more outstanding features.

Contact us for more information.

Bearings Incorporated has an extensive Library

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Our library at Bearings Incorporated is extensive, and we have records from back to the 1920’s.  We have a wide variety of vendors, products, and ages of catalogues.

Even with the many vendor changes throughout the years.  Timken has now bought Fafnir, Torrington, and National Oil Seals.   SKF has purchased Chicago Rawhide seals, and MRC bearings.  SNR Bearings is now NTN.  We are current with the catalogues of today, we also have the accessibility to  refer to the old references as well.  

If you have a Victor seal in your equipment, even though they are no longer in business; don’t despair; we still have the interchange catalogues and may be able to find a suitable replacement.  Our cataloges refer back into the 1920’s, and we have shelves of historical reference catalogues.

Hubcap Installation Procedure

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Continued from “Wheel end leakage problems


  1. Hub mating surface must be free of dirt, burrs and radial score lines.
  2. Hub mating surface, hubcap flange, and gasket should not be greased or oiled.
  3. Always install and re-install hubcap with a new gasket.
  4. When using a Tamper Proof system with synthetic grease, never fill hubcap with grease.

Bolt on Hubcaps

  • Lockwashers of the split, conical or internal toothed design may be used in conjunction with the fastening bolts.  Do not use flat washers.
  • Thread all bolts loosely, then tighten down bolts uniformly in a star pattern per the following recommended torque values:
    • TF (Zytel) Hubcap with embedded metal ring = 12-16 lbs./ft.
    • Stamped Steel Hubcaps = 10-14 lbs. / ft.
    • Aluminum Hubcaps = 12-16 lbs. / ft.
    • Plastic Hubcap with external metal ring = 6-10 lbs. / ft.

Threaded Hubcaps

  • Lightly lubricate the threads of the hubcap and the O-ring, with the lubricant that is being retained.
  • Install the O-ring onto the hubcap.
  • Install the hubcap assembly onto the hub.
  • Using an 8-point 4 13/16” opening x 4 ¼” high socket, torque to the following recommended values:
    • TF Zytel = 50-100 lbs. / ft.
    • Lexan = 60-70 lbs. / ft.

Oil Fill

Through Center Fill Port

  • Fill Wheel end assembly through centerfill port with the specified grade of oil.  Wheel hub configurations vary, allowing different amounts of oil to be added depending on design.  Allow for the oil to seep through the outer bearing and fill the hub cavity.  Continue to add oil until the oil reaches the oil level fill line as indicated on the hubcap.
  • Install center fill hubcap plug

Through Side Fill Port

  • Fill wheel end assembly through side fill port with the specified grade of oil.  Wheel hub configurations vary allowing different amounts of oil to be added depending on design.  Allow for the oil to seep through the outer bearing and fill the hub cavity.  During this fill operation, DO NOT ALLOW THE OIL TO GO ABOVE THE CENTERLINE OR WEEP HOLE.  This may result in a weeping condition that may be perceived as a leaking hubcap.  Continue to add oil until the oil reaches the oil level line as indicated on the hubcap.
  • Install side fill hubcap plug per the following recommended torque values:
    • 3.8” – 18 NPT Pipe Plug  = 100-140 lbs./in.
    • ¾”  – 16 UNF (Zytel) side Fill Plug = 15-25 lbs./in.

Clean up any overspills that would give the appearance of a leaky hubcap.