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I asked this on Superuser a while ago, but since fans are often used for cooling electronic devices, I think that the question would be on-topic here too.

So how long is life expectancy of fan with magnetic bearing? I did some looking on catalogs of popular stores and datasheets of some manufacturers, but I couldn't find any information about life expectancy.

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It lasts until the fan is so clogged up with dust and hair it can't turn anymore? Also, I read that fans should always be used to blow cool air into a chassis rather than suck hot air out, so that the fan itself is operating at a lower temperature, for longer life. –  endolith Jan 11 '11 at 20:45
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2 Answers

Here's some examples:

In comparison to these non-magnetic bearing statistics:

Looks like traditional bearing MTTF wins! My point is that at the moment this technology is marketing fluff, regardless of its merits. Real MTTF numbers will tell the story... not that these are real numbers: take them with a grain of salt, as they are subject to lawyer jibbajabba and marketing hype. (And no, that doesn't mean manufacturers have to wait 70'000h+ to characterize MTTF -- it is characterized much earlier using techniques to speed up the working hours.)

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+1 for 'lawyer jibbajabba'. Fixed formatting for you. –  Kevin Vermeer Jan 10 '11 at 14:45
    
Thanks @reemrevnivek! (Note: I sometimes use <sub><sup>text</sup></sub> to 'hack' in smaller text, but it does look like I messed this one up ;) –  tyblu Jan 10 '11 at 14:54
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True magnetic bearing have near to infinite mechanical life expectancy, limited only to MTBF of support electronics (which is also can be >10years if properly designed).

As long as it's not overheated, and not damaged mechanically, it should last.

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If you're still looking at this question, would you know how much the expectancy would reduce in case of super-cooling, or sharp temperature gradients e.g. delta > 100C between one side of the blades and the other ? –  Everyone Sep 6 '11 at 8:17
    
@Everyone Should not matter, if there is no physical contact due to size change –  BarsMonster Sep 9 '11 at 4:02
    
Thank you (+: much appreciated –  Everyone Sep 9 '11 at 16:40
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