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5 causes of bearing failure in industrial equipment and how to avoid them

When a motor, pump or other piece of industrial equipment comes into our rewinds and repairs workshop, it’s not uncommon for our engineers to find bearing damage as the cause of failure. But what leads to bearing failure and how can it be prevented?

Overloading

This occurs when bearings operate beyond their rated design limit, with excessive noise, vibration and temperature all pointing to overload. Equipment should always be matched to its application, so check with your supplier before installation.

Improper lubrication

A lack of lubrication results in excessive abrasion, causing overheating and premature wear in bearings. However, too much lubrication can be just as damaging because if the bearing is over-greased and constantly churns excess lubricant, heat will be generated within the bearing housing. If this continues then the bearing will eventually overheat and fail. Always use the correct type and amount of lubricant and re-lubricate as appropriate.

Corrosion

Water, acid and broken-down grease have an abrasive effect and can cause excessive or abnormal wear in bearings. Avoid condensation by monitoring temperature and always ensure bearings are greased with the correct quantity of good-quality lubricant. Corrosive fluids coming into contact with equipment should be diverted, or alternatively you should look to fit sealed bearings.

Contamination

This is a very common cause of bearing failure, with wear and pitting caused by the ingress of foreign particles such as dirt, grit, dust and steel chips. Reduce the risk of contamination by filtering the lubricant as well as cleaning down work areas and tools.

Misalignment

Misaligned shafts in rotating equipment create uneven loads on bearings, which results in excessive stress and wear in certain areas. This leads to vibration, poor mechanical performance and premature breakdown of the equipment. To avoid this common problem, shafts should be aligned carefully and precisely during installation.

For service and repair of electric motors, pumps and other electro-mechanical equipment, look no further than Gibbons. Call us on 01621 868138 or email info@gibbonsgroup.co.uk and one of our team of expert engineers will be happy to help.

 

Electric Motors, Pumps & Controls

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