Associated Products, Inc. * 29-k Kripes Rd. E. Granby, CT 06026 * P: 800-535-2192 * F: 860-844-0082
Causes of bearing failure There are four common causes of premature bearing failure.
Poor lubrication practices coupled with errors in specifying bearings cause 36% of premature bearing failures. While sealed-for-life bearings can be fitted and forgotten, any bearing deprived of proper lubrication will fail long before its normal service life.
Wherever manual maintenance is not feasible, a fully automatic lubrication system can be installed to lubricate a bearing with the right amount of lubricant at the correct lubrication intervals. Failure can be the result of using the wrong lubricant type, mixing lubricants, improper re-lubrication amounts, and improper additives.
Fatigue accounts for 34% of early bearing failures. Whenever machines are overloaded, unbalanced, or misaligned, bearings suffer the consequences. These abnormal conditions cause unintended loads on the bearing that can quickly add up to a dramatic reduction in service life.
Premature failures from fatigue may appear to be the result of lubrication problems. Most of these problem conditions can be detected using predictive or condition-monitoring techniques long before failure occurs.
Poor installation accounts for about 16% of all premature bearing failures. Service personnel need to be aware of which tools to use and be trained in using them.
Bearing users have the option of securing training for their personnel or contracting to have installations done by outside professionals. Improper installation techniques can lead to failures from load imbalance, misalignment, or improper load distributions within the bearing.
Contamination contributes to about 14% of premature bearing failures. Bearing users have sealing solutions available that can be tailored to the most arduous operating environments. Typical failures can be the result of excessive wear, abnormal surface stresses caused by debris denting, or corrosion from liquid contamination, such as water.
Reference: Joe Conyers, Bearing Maintenance & Reliability Instructor SKF Reliability Maintenance Institute
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