A Study on the Noise Characteristics of Polymer Ball Bearings Under Various Lubrication Conditions

Dinc S. K., Temiz V., Kamburoglu E.

3rd International Congress on Advances in Applied Physics and Materials Science, Antalya, Turkey, 24 - 28 April 2013, vol.1569, pp.242-247 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 1569
  • Doi Number: 10.1063/1.4849268
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.242-247
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Polymer bearings are generally praised by the manufacturers for running silently. However such statements never go beyond qualitative assumptions. Therefore, studying polymer ball bearing noise would have been meaningful solely on the perspective of silent running machinery. On the other hand, the service life of a polymer ball bearing is unpredictable and there's no preventive maintenance practice that provides data regarding the condition of a polymer ball bearing. In this study, we assume that an investigation of their noise characteristics could also reveal clues concerning their performances. The main objective of this study is to determine the noise characteristics of polymer ball bearings lubricated with different lubricant greases of varying viscosity grades through experimental means. Sound pressure level measurements of SKF brand polymer bearings with polypropylene rings, polypropylene cage and glass balls were made with a inch microphone in 1/3-octave bands, at frequencies up to 12.5 kHz, under various radial loads and rotational speeds. The bearings were mounted on a shaft driven by an AC motor with stepless speed control, adjustable between 0 - 1400 rpm. The ball bearings were running inside an acoustic chamber designed for the insulation of environmental noise and the noise of the motor at target frequencies. The resulting sound pressure level spectra were evaluated and the effects of the lubrication conditions on the noise of the ball bearing and possible diagnostic insight that could be gained through studying bearing noise characteristics were discussed.