Electrically conductive grease-Bearing electrical resistance test

Any rotating component support by ball bearings is essentially isolated from the rest of the device, in part due to the lubricant in the bearing raceway. Static electricity can build up and discharge/arc across the bearing, damaging the rolling elements and accelerating wear. The discharge of static across a bearing can be hazardous, especially if the device is operating in potentially explosive or ATEX environments. Electrically conductive bearing grease can help reduce or eliminate the risk.

It should be noted that some electric motors can generate internal voltages and currents that may or may not discharge through the bearing, so static electricity is not the only source of electrically induced bearing wear. This is especially true of variable frequency drive motors.

The test video above is intended to introduce the viewer to our three core electrically conductive greases by way of an indicative test, showing the difference in electrical resistance when a bearing is testing with conductive and non-conductive/plain grease.

A synopsis of this test video is below whereby a pair of bearings are mounted on a shaft and a current is passed through in series; the purpose of the test is to demonstrate the difference in conductivity through the bearing, comparing non-conductive and conductive grease:

To find the right electrically conductive grease for your application, take a look at the conductive grease range overview article.

Looking for a conductive bearing grease for static discharge? Take a look at our test video where we electrically charge a bearing to simulate static discharge through a pair of bearings mounted in series; bearing wear and pitting performance/damage is compared when a non-conductive and our high spec synthetic conductive grease are tested.

Our core range of synthetic conductive grease can be purchased online in 100gram tubes for evaluation or for small volume use.

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