Do Nano-Particle Bearing Lubricants Need Replacing
There has been a lot of misconceptions floating around the longboard and skateboard world about bearings and lubricants. I called the smartest person I know about bearings and lubricants, the owner of Eximius Bearing Company, to help sort them out. The following are his words verbatim. He uses text book science to debunk the most common misconceptions thrown around about bearing lubricants.
Nano Particles in Bearing Lubricants For Skate Application
Yes a nano particle can fill in cracks to optimize the performance of a bearing, although they become an impediment in areas where there are no cracks and there are more smooth surfaces than imperfect areas. Nano particles are for heavily loaded, relatively rough surfaces in which there are more cracks than smooth surfaces: for example, sliding rails.
There’s nothing wrong with lubricants with nano-particles in them, but they have specific applications and polished surfaces is not one of them. An example of a polished surface is a bearing ball and raceway.
Myth: My lubricant has nano-particles which means it’s self healing & therefore never needs changing
Lubrication degradation starts to occur from the second a lubricant is put into service it begins to degrade. Degradation can include: hydrolytic breakdown, polymeric breakdown, environmental contamination, vital ingredient depletion, volatilization, oxidation, the uptake of water vapor which will lead to corrosion once vital agents are depleted.
Hydrolytic Breakdown: is when a molecule breaks down, because of the presence of water or hydroxide. Water and hydroxide are present in the atmosphere, therefore over time all current skate lubricants will succumb to Hydrolytic Breakdown.
Polymeric Breakdown: Also known as shearing, occurs naturally when a lubricant performs it’s task between two loaded members.
Environmental Contamination: Dust, debris, and contaminants will eventually make their way into bearings. Over time as these contaminants accumulate they will eventually lead to a lubricant failure. It doesn’t matter how expensive your lubricant is, or how special it is. When it’s dirty, it’s dirty.
Vital Ingredient Depletion: Depletion of some of the vital components will lead to corrosion, lubricant oxidation, acid formation, and excessive wear.
Volatization: Reduction of a lubricant, due to natural evaporation
Oxidation: oxidation occurs when oxygen or oxidizers are taken up by the lubricant and the lubricant becomes chemically degraded.
Do Nano-Particle Bearing Lubricants Need Replacing: Thank you for reading! Please share this with your longboard and skateboard friends. Please help stop these myths, and correct others whenever they spread misinformation about bearing lubricants.
The picture of the blown out bearing was taken from redditor: 853simon