MRO Magazine

Avoiding Premature Bearing Failure

Problem: Every bearing becomes unserviceable in the course of time, even if it is installed correctly and operated properly. The raceway surfaces and the rolling contact surfaces of the rolling elements are repeatedly subjected to compressive load...


September 1, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Problem: Every bearing becomes unserviceable in the course of time, even if it is installed correctly and operated properly. The raceway surfaces and the rolling contact surfaces of the rolling elements are repeatedly subjected to compressive loads and the surfaces eventually flake.

Solution: Make sure you don’t encourage premature bearing failure through improper selection or handling, or lack of maintenance. These problems are avoidable, unlike bearing fatigue.

The fact is, breakdowns due to improper application, bearing design and maintenance are more frequent than flaking due to rolling fatigue in the field.

It’s important to inspect bearings during operation to see if problems are developing in order to prevent unnecessary failure. Check the bearing temperature, noise and vibration, and examine the properties of the lubricant.

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Specific care and maintenance guidelines can be found in publications available from all major bearing manufacturers. Just one example is NTN’s catalogue no. 3017/E, Care and Maintenance of Bearings.

If your reference library doesn’t include publications such as this, it’s time you made a few phone calls to your suppliers and get up-to-date technical advice to hand.

Do you have a solution for a maintenance problem? Send it in and if it’s published, we’ll send you a free Mr. O Problem Solver T-shirt. Include your address, telephone number, print complete details and, if possible, add a sketch to help explain your tip. Send your ideas to Mr. O, Machinery & Equipment MRO, 12 Concorde Place, Suite 800, Toronto, ON M3C 4J2