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Proper Storage, Handling and Safety of Roller Bearings
Last Updated: 01/19/2012

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Proper Storage, Handling and Safety of Roller Bearings



Storage and handling

Rolling bearings should be stored in a cool, clean, low humidity environment free of dust, shocks and vibrations. Storing bearings directly on the floor should therefore be avoided. If stocks of bearings are kept, it is important to impose the practice of stock rotation. SKF bearings are preserved and packaged to ensure that when complying to these storage circumstances the storage life will be several years.

The simplest and most effective bearing maintenance is to keep the bearing clean. Contamination will shorten the life of any bearing and the importance of cleanliness cannot be overstressed.

The following considerations are important for bearing maintenance:

  • All components should be clean and dry.
  • Cleaning material should be readily available.
  • Cotton waste should not be used to clean or dry bearings.
  • Clean hands and tools when mounting are a must.

Before mounting the bearing the following should always be observed:

  • Make sure that housing and shaft are clean and not damaged.
  • Make sure that the new bearing is identical to the one being replaced
  • Ensure that the lubricant to be used is clean and of the correct specification.
  • Make sure the necessary tools and equipment are at hand.
  • Keep the work area clean

When mounting the bearing the following should always be observed:

  • Do not remove the bearing from its wrapping until the last moment.
  • Do not try to wash the bearing. The preservative used is compatible with mineral based oils and greases and should only be removed from the bore and the outside diameter of the bearing's outer ring. A lint-free cloth dampened with a cleaning agent is suitable for this purpose.
  • Ensure that the mounting forces are only applied to the bearing ring with the interference fit.
  • Use a minimum force with maximum control method.
  • Lightly coat the mating surfaces with oil. 





In any workplace operator safety is of paramount importance. To keep you and those around you safe always read the Instruction manuals before operating any of our products and pay particular attention to the safety warnings.

  • Always wear protective clothing and goggles when mounting and dismounting rolling element bearings.
  • Always use heat resistant gloves when mounting heated bearings and when dismounting bearings using heat.
  • For your own safety and to prevent bearing damage, do not strike the bearing directly with any hard object such as a hammer or chisel.
  • When dismounting bearings using mechanical pullers, make sure you select a suitable puller for the application with sufficient pulling force in order to help prevent puller overload. Overloading a puller can result in puller arm or beam breakage, causing personal injury. A safety blanket fitted around the puller and bearing helps reduce the risk on injury in case the puller's arm or spindle breaks.
  • Remember that corrosion on the interference fit may require significantly higher dismounting force. If the interference fit is corroded, use penetrating oil to dissolve/loosen the rust.
  • Remember that powerful forces may be involved when dismounting bearings and care must always be taken to avoid injury.
  • Keep the work area clean; good housekeeping reduces accidents.
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