Increase Service Life for Rail Wheel Bearings: A Review of Grease Lubrication for This Application

Hannes Allmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Billions of rolling bearings (RB) are in use today in a broad and diverse range of applications. In the mobility sector, RB help to reduce friction losses and increase efficiency. In rail applications, the rail wheel rolling bearing is a critical component, which requires a strict maintenance schedule. In this literature review, grease lubrication in RB is reviewed and potential ways to improve the service life of greases in RB are discussed with special emphasis on the application as rail wheel bearing. Understanding the discussed fundamental lubrication processes is the key to increase the service life of the rail wheel bearings and might provide a basis for future work that aims to make maintenance of these bearings condition-based (condition-based maintenance). This review is primarily intended for R&D professionals from rail (and related) industry and others being interested in a rather brief, but fundamental, overview of this subject.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022


  • Grease
  • Lubrication
  • Rolling element bearings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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