Question: When is it OK to over-lubricate your bearing?
Answer: NEVER!!!!, (almost) the exception is when high vibration exists.
If you attended the SDT/LUDECA Acoustic Lubrication Workshops then you now understand grease as a lubricating mechanism. You understand that the Churning Phase of the lubrication task is inevitable, and long-term, detrimental to the health of the grease. Therefore, we want to move as quickly as possible from the Churning Phase to the Bleeding Phase. This is the natural progression of precision lubrication.
Grease is not a robust grease mechanism. It is actually quite fragile compared to an oil-only system. But we need grease as a lubricating mechanism in bearings because the properties of grease help to keep the lubrication in and around the warzone while sealing out contaminants.
Vibration is inherent in every machine system. Excessive vibration, however, negatively impacts the ability of grease to lubricate. Some machine systems are intentionally vibrated as part of their function and process. Other equipment vibrated excessively because of a defect such as imbalance, misalignment, poor installation, or poor workmanship. For these machines, it might be best practice to over-grease their bearings.
I know that sounds counter to what we teach and know, but consider this. It is better to have thickener and oil in the warzone of the bearing than it is to set up a bleeding mechanism and have the reservoir destroyed because of high vibration. If we let this happen we may never get any oil where it’s needed.
High vibration? Slightly over-grease your bearing and allow a little thickener to exist in the warzone. It is the best compromise.
Download our 5-Step Acoustic Lubrication Procedure.