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The Importance of Lubricating Robot Bearings

by Tyron Denson

Robotics are essential for the manufacturing industries, being cost, time, and energy-efficient. Robot bearing is necessary for the motion control of the machines. Robotics need high-precision bearings for their accuracy, high performance, and streamline operations.

Lubrication is crucial for the maintenance of robot bearings to reduce the harsh effects of wear and tear. For engineers, lubricants are necessary to ensure the smooth running of mechanisms.

Lubricants are commonly be divided into two parts, oil or grease. Oil is usually chosen when thermal convection needs to be lessened, it has a free glow, and can rapidly prevent heat-induced oxidation, faster than the counterpart, grease. An important factor in choosing one’s oil is the viscosity. Viscosity refers to an oil’s resistance to flow, meaning how easily it flows.

Grease, on the other hand, is made up of base oil and a thickener. It is thicker than oil and also a common choice for lubricating robot bearing due to its viscosity. Apart from extending the lifespan of bearings, lubricants can reduce heat, noise, and vibrations in mechanisms. Here are some important reasons why robot bearings must be duly lubricated.

Lubricants Reduce Friction

Lubricants reduce friction in robotic bearings by swiftly reducing the heat generated when two surfaces meet. This substance generally improves a bearing’s performance by the smoothness the film gives the mechanism during operations. When two surfaces meet, the lubricant acts as a barrier, preventing a harsh collision of surfaces.

 Friction can noticeably lessen the efficiency of a machine, thereby causing a reduction in its mechanical advantage. The heat generated in friction can lead to overheating of bearings, causing a breakdown. Friction also has resistance to motion. When bearings cannot move, they cannot work, this slows down productivity. The mechanisms use up more energy to reduce friction, drastically affecting the input-output margin. Not to mention the aggravating friction-induced noise bearings make without lubrication.

Lubricants Prevent Corrosion

Corrosion is the gradual disintegration of refined metal. This can be caused by several factors, such as a reaction with a foreign substance in the environment. The substance can be dirt, particles, hydrogen or oxygen, and sometimes even bacteria, moisture also being a cause of Corrosion. Corrosion can come in several forms, such as:

  • Stress cracking:this occurs when the metal is put into a lot of pressure, which the object simply cracks.
  • Galvanic Corrosion:this Corrosion is caused by when two independent metals form a chemical reaction when they are in contact with each other through a conductive path.
  • General Corrosion: When a metal is exposed to water, it rusts. This is a very common type of Corrosion.

Lubricants are needed to prevent Corrosion. When bearings rust, it costs money to replace, leading to a reduction in profit margins. Lubricants are indispensable substances for the regular maintenance of machinery. Lubricants prevent bearing surfaces from being affected by direct contact with dirt, oxygen, or moisture, acting as a film between them.

Lubricants Extend Bearing’s Lifespan

Lubricants are generally used for regular maintenance of a machine’s lifespan. It improves a machine’s efficiency by maximizing its output during work. Heat reduction, being one of the primary functions of lubricant, helps the machine work without frequent repairs or break down. When machines produce heat and break down, it will slow down work processes, leading to time wastage. Lubricants are very vital for maintaining robot bearings.

Final Thoughts

Robot bearings need a motion for smooth running. It has been established that friction reduces motion, consequently leading to machine damage. Corrosion is also a common occurrence. Robot bearings are exposed to the environment, dirt, and moisture as major causes of rust. Negligent operators often ignore regular maintenance. Lubricant is a crucial and cost-efficient ancillary for robot bearing maintenance.

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