Machine design: New ball bearings withstand washdown conditions

Baldor's new bearings have patented features that retain lubrication, keep contaminants out.

By Renee Robbins February 5, 2010

Baldor Electric Company, Fort Smith, Arkansas based manufacturer of energy saving industrial electric motors, mechanical power transmission products, drives, and generators, introduces Dodge Ultra Kleen ball bearings with features that provide extended life in harsh, washdown conditions. This new product features the patented QuadGuard sealing system, along with an exclusive ball retainer, called the Maxlife cage that helps retain lubrication and prevents washout in wet environments like food and beverage processing plants. Ultra Kleen bearings are available in a variety of stainless steel and polymer housings featuring 100% stainless steel inserts.

The QuadGuard seal consists of two patented features: a triple-lip seal, and a rubberized flinger. The triple-lip seal offers three points of contact, keeping lubricant in and contaminants out. This unique design maximizes sealing with a minimal amount of drag. The rubberized flinger, the industry’s first and only patented design, according to Baldor, is molded rubber that provides an additional barrier to contaminants. The rubber baffled design on the external surface of the flinger enhances the removal of liquid as it rotates, while the grease chambers on the internal surface of the flinger prevent lubricant from exiting the bearing.

The Maxlife cage is a two-piece design that creates a grease compartment around each of the rolling elements. The compartments provide constant contact between ball and grease so an oil film will always exist, preventing wear and minimizing friction and heat. The compartmental construction of the cage holds in the grease and prevents it from being washed out. This design extends the life of the bearing and requires less frequent re-lubrication vs. standard designs, according to the company.

The 65° setscrews provide maximum locking force without compromising the strength of the inner ring, while the stainless anti- rotation pin prevents the insert from rotating in the housing. The stainless housing is made with 300 series stainless steel. The polymer-housed version has an added anti-microbial agent that retards bacteria and fungus growth. Both housing styles contain all stainless steel hardware and fittings, as well as stainless steel inserts. For additional protection and safety, Ultra Kleen housings are machined with a groove to accept a snap-on style polymer end cover.

– Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor

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