Electrically insulated rolling bearings are bearings that have electrical insulation built into them. With this insulation, these bearings are able to provide superior protection against electrical corrosion or currents passing through them.
They can help keep a variety of applications moving smoothly with less need for repairs and routine greasing maintenance, too.
Electrical pitting can occur in bearings as a result of current leaks when they are used in electrical equipment like power generators or motors. What is more, the bearings can start to spark and can become so damaged that they fail. This can mean an entire system will come to a halt.
Electrical pitting can be avoided when electrically insulated ceramic bearings are used. There are a variety of bearings with insulation available on the market.
Types of Electrically Insulated Roller Bearings
Coated bearings are offered to avoid pitting. These are made with either ceramic or resin insulations and work in an array of applications. Applications such as wind turbines, variable speed motors in wastewater plants and traction railway car motors do well with the help of these bearings.
Applications where electric pitting is especially problematic would do well with hybrid bearings.
These improve the dissipation of heat and reduce the mass of rotation to keep electrical charges from passing through.
Ceramic hybrid bearings make use of conventional steel inner and outer rings. Silicon nitride rolling elements work with the bearings to keep them insulated properly.
What To Watch Out For
Signs of electrical corrosion are visibly tarnished tracks on the rolling element’s surface. Raceway surfaces will also display visible melt craters or fluting. An increase in running noise is also a sign that corrosion is occurring and the bearings need to be replaced.
The bearings should be designed and installed on operating equipment with the insulation intact. They are the most economical solution for all major motors and turbines. In fact, these types of insulated rollers are among the most highly used in wind turbines and energy production applications.
Electrically insulated bearings are available in different versions to suit just about any application. Their unique properties can not only keep maintenance such as greasing intervals prolonged, they can actually prolong the life of the equipment as a whole.
Make use of electrically insulated bearings in your industrial or mechanical operations. They are excellent for keeping all systems running smoothly especially when those systems operate in harsh or hard-to-access areas.