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Bearing oil coolers

Bearing oil coolers – Direct cooling in the bearing sump

Bearing oil coolers sit within the bearing housing, removing heat directly from the oil sat in the oil sump. The shape of the oil sump depends on the machine orientation and operating parameters. As a result, the geometry of the cooler varies widely from one application to the next. Cooling a bearing on a vertical shaft may require a circular array of tubes to sit around the outside of the bearing.  For other arrangements, a set of small cooling clusters in the bottom of the housing may be necessary.


How bearing oil coolers work

The bearing generally sits immersed in the oil that has cooled it; otherwise, more oil is pumped over it from the sump below. Coolers sitting in the sump of a bearing housing are usually immersed in oil. However, the flow of oil is slow, and the resulting heat transfer depends on natural convection within the oil pool. The two controlling factors of the surface area requirements are:

  • the rate of heat transfer from oil to tube
  • the overall temperature differential between the oil and the coolant.

This means that the heat transfer requires a significant surface area.  An array of either plain or finned tubes can supply this surface area, depending on the geometry and location of the oil. Where finned tubes are used, the spacing of the fins must be wide enough to ensure capillary forces exhibited by the oil being cooled don’t restrict natural convection.

Our strengths

  • Bespoke – We can work with you to design the appropriate amount of heat transfer surface, interfacing the cooler with the bearing housing.

  • Production capabilities We can manipulate both plane and finned tube arrays to meet a range of contours. This allows us to create semi-circular and circular coolers for vertical shaft bearing cooling applications.

  • One off or batch capabilities – We can supply prototype, one-off and bespoke design solutions. We are also able to reverse engineer solutions where off-the-shelf coolers have not met customer requirements.

As a recognised manufacturer of bearing oil coolers, we can help you to get the best equipment for your application.

If you feel you need:


Customised heat exchangers

Over 100 years of design & manufacturing knowledge

Your partner for the entire lifecycle of your business

Sterling Thermal Technology has worked with us to design a bespoke solution of a circular cooling array mounted to the inner wall of our bearing housing. Following initial trials, we are happy that they have accurately projected the performance parameters for our new bearing configuration.



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We customise our heat exchange solution to meet your requirements, so contact us today to discover the right equipment for you.

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