Common Causes of Bearing Failure

Posted May 21, 2015 by admin

Our lab technicians have investigated countless situations of bearing malfunction and damage.  You don’t become the leading name in quality bearing supply without learning a few things along the way.  It’s not always easy to diagnose the exact cause of a bearing failure, but after careful inspection, most of the time the cause is related to one or more of the following causes.

Foreign Matter - Given the sliding and rolling nature of the bearing’s structure, its biggest enemy is foreign particles of dirt, dust, grit, lint, and grime of all kinds which can cause wear and pitting inside the raceways.

Poor Mounting - If the bearing is not properly mounted it will rotate incorrectly and eventually cause disruption in the mechanics.  If the bearing is fitted to the shaft by beating it into place, it will cause dents in the outer race.  If the shaft fit or the housing fit are too loose, there can be excess heat from added friction or shut down with the collection of loose particles.  Likewise, the fit can be too tight and cause similar problems.

Bearing misalignment fixes & solutions by VNC BearingMisalignment - A common culprit for the cause of overheating or separator failure is a misalignment of bent or out-of-square shafts and spacers.  We tend to find the tracks veering side to side when we look to the raceways.

Electrical Damage - Any electric current that passes through bearing will charge the metal balls and spaces between them with a charge that can cause arcing and burning to the rolling elements.  This results in denting and cratering of the interior raceways.

Our technicians have seen these causes and more in bearings of all types and designs.  We take pride in a close, quality lab inspection of each and every bearing that comes through our labs for quality assessment.  We’ve identified the causes of bearing failures in a wide array of diverse industries.  Let us help you with your roller bearings today.