Thursday, July 20, 2017

5 Ways to prevent your bearing from rusting.

      Iron oxide is formed when Iron and Oxygen oxidizes through time. However, this oxidization is accelerated in the presence of water or when there is moisture in the air. Iron oxide or in common terms, rust, occurs commonly because iron can easily react with oxygen in the air. If a piece of steel is left unused for a long period of time and sufficient amount of oxygen and moist is present, the steel will begin to oxidize and corrosion will start to take place. What will happen in the end ? The steel's surface will be begin to be flaky, friable and sooner or later, it will turn to dust.

      So, why am I emphasizing on this ? In my previous article, the most important part of a yo-yo is the inner spinning mechanism and in the modern era of yo-yoing, the inner spinning mechanism that was once made out of wood is now replaced by ball bearings that is made out of steel. Hence, without proper care of your bearing, rusting will eventually take place and your bearing would not be able to spin as well as it should be or in worst case scenario, it would be stucked.

How do you properly care for it ? Well, here are 5 ways that you could prevent bearings from rusting :

1) Remove your strings
      Strings are your worst enemy when it comes to bearing rust. Why and how ? Its simple, by looking back at how rust occurs, it needs oxygen and water or moist. When the yo-yo is kept untouched for a period of time, the string wrapped around the bearing will start to absorb moist from the air and with a little mix of oxygen, your bearing will start to rust. It would be a good idea to remove your strings if you are not planning to use the yo-yo on a daily basis.

      I've had a personal experience with this. At first, I thought it was a myth or just something that we should brush it off our shoulders and ignore this advice. Well, that didn't go to well. My yo-yo was kept in my drawer with a string being wrapped around it for a week. When I tried spinning it, it would just turn responsive (it shot back up). When I took a closer look at the inner part, the bearing was covered with flaky dark orange rust. So my advice is, please remove your strings.

2) Don't ever spin your yo-yo on the water surface
      I know for a fact that some yo-yo players has the tendency to wonder "What is the result of a yo-yo spinning on that water surface ?". The effects would be cool for an instagram shot, but if you do not properly dry your bearing, it would rust. As mentioned, water is also one of the accelerating components that reacts with air that creates rust. So it would be wise to avoid playing wit your yo-yo in the water or above the surface of the water without proper drying method.

(P.S : unless you are a sponsored player that gets regular yo-yo spare parts , then by all means , go ahead)

3) Soak your bearing in thin lube
      Why would I want to soak my bearing in thin lube for ? Well, its definitely not a conventional method but it does help to prevent my bearing from rusting. The idea is that this lube will prevent excess moist to contribute to the rusting process. For example, the density of oil differs from the water which prevents the water from passing through the oil. Same goes for lubes.

      However, do dab your bearing with tissue paper in-order to remove the excess amount of lube before proceeding playing with it. I would usually use an absorbent kitchen rolls to remove the excess lube from the bearing. Besides providing an extra coating for the bearing , it would also enhance the smoothness and the spinning speed of the bearing.

4) Silica gel packets
      Its great to keep your prize possession in casings or yo-yo bags but this does not ensure that the bearing will not rust after a long period of time. Moist may sip through the bag or casing (if it is not airtight. That would be the next tip) and will contribute to the rusting process. If we couldn't eliminate oxygen from the equation, then we will try to eliminate or minimize the amount of moist in the case or bag by placing silica gel packs in it.

      What does this silica pack does ? It basically absorb access moisture in the air. So this will prevent your bearing from rusting. You could just recycle a pack of silica gel whenever you purchase a bag or shoes or you could just get it at any hardware store nearby you.

5) Place your spare bearings in a portable airtight container
      Instead of eliminating or minimizing moist, this would be the opposite instead. By sealing your spare bearing in an airtight container, you would minimize the amount of oxygen that is available to contribute to the rusting process. By placing silica gel packs in it, you will have an ultimate rust free bearing container. Try obtaining a small size container. This would be easier for you to carry your spare bearing wherever you go.

Well , there you go. Those are my top 5 tips to prevent your bearing from rusting. I hope this helps in some way or another.

The below articles might be helpful too in regards to bearing :

Bearing Maintenance
Types of bearing
Bearing removal
Response system

Till next time,
Adam Hamzah

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