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FEATURE SPONSOR


BEARINGS & SEALS


BEARING FAILURE THE CAUSES AND CURE


Rolling element bearings are a key component in wind energy and consequently represent a significant cost for operators – in the UK alone, the bearings market is worth £1bn per year


Extracting the maximum working life from each component is therefore essential for engineers tasked with reducing costs and improving efficiencies. However, bearings are one of the most frequently damaged components as failure can be caused by a multitude of factors – from improper installation and mishandling to particulate contamination or under-lubrication. Brammer and NSK Bearings look at the most common types of bearing damage and how they can be prevented.


IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO


IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE FAILURE AS THIS METHOD WILL PROVIDE A GREATER PAYBACK IN THE LONG RUN


OPERATION


When smooth rolling surfaces are damaged, higher stress conditions are imposed upon the surface, which reduces the life of the bearing significantly. When roller bearings are used correctly, they will survive their predicted fatigue life. However, bearings often fail prematurely due to avoidable mistakes, such as improper mounting, mishandling and poor lubrication, as well as entry of foreign matter or abnormal heat generation. A bearing in the early stages of failure may display some or all of the following symptoms…


• Leakage of lubricant, or visible contamination of lubricant


• Component vibration • Irregular or unusual noises • Increased temperature above norm when running


• Misalignment • Unusual odours


INSPECTION AND DETECTION


These factors can easily be identified through manual inspection but some causes, particularly vibration, may be detected with condition monitoring devices. Some changes, particularly displacement, may be very slight and occur slowly over time, meaning it is important to keep a detailed inspection record so that patterns of gradual change can be identified.


BEARING DAMAGE TYPES INCLUDE…


• Pitting and etching • Rust, electrical corrosion and discolouration


• Peeling, flaking and scoring • Smearing, fretting and false brinnelling


• Fracturing, denting and creep • Total bearing failure


FULL ARTICLE WEBSITE


FAILURE AVOIDANCE


Most types of bearing damage are easily avoidable if installed and maintained carefully, taking into account other system components. To simply replace a failed bearing without knowing the cause can prove to be very costly in terms of both time and equipment.


It is always best to identify the root cause of the failure as this method will provide a greater payback in the long run.


Buck & Hickman


Ed’s Note – This article is an abridged version – the full article is available by scanning/clicking the QR Code/Pink link


SCAN/CLICK SCAN/CLICK


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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