What is the difference between the ball bearings and sleeve bearings in compact fans?
These two bearing systems are both very common in air moving products, in particular in compact fans, and there are several factors to take into consideration to make a correct choice of the finished product. Today let’s see the differences between the two bearing systems.
Sleeve bearings fans:
Sleeve bearings fans are undoubtedly cheaper compared to ball bearings ones, however, they have limitations regarding the mounting, which must be made only horizontally, to minimize friction. Sleeve bearings are at their best at low temperatures (below 70°C), and despite the self-lubricating models, and poor maintenance required, they hardly guarantee a long lifetime to the product they are mounted on. Among the merits of the sleeve bearings, however, there is no doubt that of being particularly quiet, if the fan rotates at low speed, but the lubricant, more oily than that used in ball bearings is subject to a faster evaporation.
So, these fans are the most economical choice if the final product should not have a long life expectancy, if it works at low temperatures and at low speed.
Ball bearings fans:
Ball bearings fans are more expensive than sleeve bearings models, but they may be mounted in any orientation: this this is because preloading of the bearings is undertaken during manufacture which is achieved with a spring or wave spring washer. The temperature range in which their operation is guaranteed is very large: exceeds 70°C, depending on the model, increasing the life expectancy of the finished product of at least 50%, more than 60,000 hours.
One of the major defects attributed to ball bearings us
age is their noise, especially at low speeds. But, thanks to the improvements in the pre-load phase, the ball bearings fans can work as quietly as sleeve bearings fans, especially with applications that require higher speeds. Moreover, thanks to the sealing, denser lubricants mixed with additives are less subjected to evaporation.
In conclusion, if the application generates high heat levels, has a longer lifespan and requires the fan to be mounted in a position other than horizontal, the choice should be a ball bearing fan.
Pros and cons of the sleeve bea
- less expensive
- Installation only horizontal
- low temperature <70 ° C
- low life expectancy of the product
- quieter at low speed
- lubricants oilier and more prone to evaporation
Pros and Cons of ball bearings fans:
- more expensive
- mounting in any orientation
- high temperatures> 70 ° C
- high life expectancy of the product (+ 50%)
- less silent at low speed
- noise attenuated with high speeds,
- more dense lubricants with additives and less subject to evaporation
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