Bearings last longer in harsh environments

Paul Boughton

Baldor Electric is introducing a new Dodge-brand mounted ball bearing incorporating sealing and lubrication innovations that can substantially extend equipment lifetimes in harsh, washdown-duty operating environments such as food and beverage processing. Dodge Ultra Kleen ball bearings employ a 100 per cent stainless steel bearing insert and feature a patented new sealing system and a ball retainer that together retain lubrication and prevent washout in wet operating environments.

The new sealing system, known as Quadguard, consists of two patented features: a triple-lip seal and a rubberised flinger. The triple-lip seal offers three points of contact, keeping the lubricant in and contaminants out. This design - which is claimed to be unique - maximises sealing with minimal drag. The rubberised flinger, which is said to be the industry's first and only patented design, is a moulded nitrile rubber component that is bonded to the flinger surface and 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 grease chambers on the internal surface of the flinger prevent lubricant from exiting the bearing.

A new two-piece ball retaining cage, called Maxlife, creates a grease compartment around each of the rolling elements. The compartments provide constant contact between ball and grease so an oil film always exists to prevent wear and minimise friction and heat. The compartmental construction holds in the grease and prevents it from being washed out. This exclusive design extends the life of the bearing and requires less frequent relubrication than standard designs.

A 65-degree spacing of the setscrews provides excellent locking force without compromising the strength of the inner ring, while a stainless anti-rotation pin prevents the insert from rotating in the housing. The stainless housing is made with 300 grade steel. Polymer-housed versions have an added antimicrobial agent that retards the growth of bacteria and fungi. Both housing styles contain all-stainless hardware and fittings, as well as stainless steel inserts. All versions additionally feature a solid, flat base that has no cavities or areas that could provide a site for bacterial growth.

For additional protection, the housings are machined with a groove to accept a snap-on polymer end cover to cover exposed, rotating shafts and create safer working conditions. These covers incorporate a drain hole to prevent a build-up of moisture.

Dodge Ultra Kleen bearings are offered in a wide variety of stainless steel and polymer housings, in both metric and imperial size.

For more information, visit

Recent Issues