When you are dealing with motorbike and the parts, you may have heard such a thing as the bearing shield. The ball bearing itself can come with shield or not, and the shield is also called as enclosures. For some people, they may not think that it is important. But when you are active in the motorbike world and you want to be sure to have safe application, knowing the basic info and facts will definitely help.
About The Bearings
Not many people know this, but ball bearings are coming in two different forms: the open one and the one with enclosure (or the shield). The enclosure bearings are the sealed one and the shielded one. The latter one is believed to deliver better protection – whether it is against the migration lubrication or contamination. This is one of the major reasons why most people would choose the bearing shield which is offering better protection and…well, shield.
The decision to choose the right bearing shield depends on the environment and application of the bearing. Metallic shield is the most common type because it offers zero contact between the inner ring (of the bearing) and the shield bore. Not to mention that it is the most affordable and also common pick for the enclosure.
What about the seals? Well, the seals may be made from different elastic materials, depending on the temperature and also compatibility. The seals can be a contact one by design or the non contact type. The non contact type is the closest design to the shield, with zero contact with the inner ring. The contact seal, on the other hand, is made so that the seal lip can contact the bearing inner ring. Although the non contact type will reduce rotational torque, it provides only minimal protection against pollutant and contamination. On the other hand, the contact seal may provide better protection toward contamination, but it will increase rotational torque (because of the seal lip and inner ring friction). It can be a complicated option so users will have to make a wise option.
Making the Right Option
As you can see, choosing the right ball bearing may be complicated. It is probably difficult to believe that such a small item can create such a complicated option and decision. But then again, you should realize that everything has its own specs and features. Even such a small item like the bearing has such a feature too.
The motorbike experts claim that there are some things that people can do when they want to choose the right item. Depending on the type of the shield alone, you should be thinking about the environment and also application of the shield. Taking a look at the environment, the design of the seal or shield will be coming with different resistance or strength of contamination degrees. Don’t forget about the friction (or the torque) characteristics either. Do you know that you can optimize the seal lip by choosing the right design? You can choose the light lip or the standard contact, depending on the contamination condition as well as the torque situation.
Of course, you are free to make your own decision. But in the event that you are completely clueless about the whole thing, you need to consult the expert or the engineer before choosing the right type of shield. Check the online forums. You can also check and ask the store clerk – they generally can help with you. If you want to be extra sure, go to the motorbike garage and ask the expert. They should be able to help you with the right option of bearing shield.