Spindle Bearing Success: Factors to Know!

At Emerson, we have over 50 years of experience creating high-quality ball bearings and roller bearings for commercial and industrial applications. Through both Emerson Bearing and Action Bearing, we’re proud to serve markets around the world. Emerson Bearing services niche international markets, and our New England customers are served by Action Bearing, which specializes in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) solutions.

Customer satisfaction is our top priority. We serve our customers by ensuring each one gets the right high-quality bearings and services at the best available price for their budget.

Key Factors to Know

Spindle Bearing Success
When you’re choosing ball or roller bearings for your next project, there are three key factors to keep in mind: contact angle, preload, and system rigidity.

1. Contact Angle

This is the line of contact along which the ball bearing touches the raceways of the assembly. This angle is determined by the thrust loading and radial play. Ideally, the contact angle should be 15°—this is the optimal balance between axial and radial capacity and rigidity. To increase the axial rigidity, some systems have a contact angle of 25°. No matter which angle works best for your system, it’s essential to choose the bearings that operate best at the given angle.

2. Preload

Preload is a force that holds the raceway and rolling element surfaces under pressure. It’s a constant elastic compressive force that stops the parts from moving in an uncontrolled manner —either axially or radially—even when they’re under load. The right bearings will tolerate this additional force without breakage.

3. System Rigidity

Machine tools generate several different forces that ball and roller bearings need to be able to account for. Factors such as housing stiffness and bearing stiffness determine the machine’s system rigidity and ability to produce consistently precise results.

Maintenance and Care

All bearings have a pre-determined bearing life, or a maximum number of rotations the bearing can undergo. These rotations impact the inner rings, outer rings, and rolling elements with constant load, which leads to inevitable wear. Factors that can lead to excessive wear and shorten the effective lifespan of the bearings include:

  • Inefficient or full contact seals. The more contact a bearing has with a seal (such as a full contact seal) or the less calibrated a seal is, the more wear the bearing will undergo. This can wear the sealing element as well as the bearing.
  • High speeds or speed changes. If the bearing is operating at excess speeds, the friction can quickly wear through a bearing. Also, excess speeds can increase sliding speed, which causes uneven wear. If the operation speed changes too quickly, that will increase the slip and wear.
  • Poor environmental conditions. Dirt, dust, and other foreign particles can scratch the ball bearing’s surface and cause wear. The presence of water can also corrode the surface, leading to poor performance and a shortened lifespan.

With proper maintenance and care, operators can extend the life of bearings to reach or exceed the recommended service life. Two of the most important parts of caring for ball and roller bearings include cleaning the bearings and reapplying grease. Incorporate these tips to extend the equipment’s lifespan:

  • Grease storage. Always keep grease tins closed when not in use and keep the containers in a separate storage environment with stable temperatures. We recommend not using grease that’s more than three years old.
  • Grease application. Once the bearings have been cleaned and completely dried, apply grease over the balls and rings. Be sure an equal amount of grease gets between the balls in the inner ring. To ensure the grease is as clean as possible, always apply it with clean spatulas or with clean plastic syringes for precise applications.

Working With an Industry Leader in Emerson

We know that getting the best possible performance out of your equipment relies on having high-quality ball and roller bearings from the start. Our team is here to help you find the bearings with the right specifications for your facility’s sensitive tools and equipment. We maintain an extensive inventory of bearings for countless high-speed and high-precision applications. Our selection also includes next-generation bearings made from specialty steels.


If you want to ensure maximum performance of your equipment’s bearings, start with a professionally sourced, high-quality selection from the international experts at Emerson. We can help your team find the ideal ball and roller bearings for any application to ensure a long service life. To see how our team can help with your bearing selection process, please contact us.

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