Lubrication and Bearing Failures

The bearing is an important component in various plant equipment. There are many kinds of bearings that are differentiated according to construction. The primary functions stay the same. The component reduces friction between parts and limits movement only to the desired motion. A bearing failure can impede the performance of the machine, stopping its operation and can lead to damages that require expensive repairs.


There are various reasons as to why a bearing can fail. Loads that are significantly heavier than what the bearing is designed for can cause deformation of the bearing components and structure. Impact and vibration can damage bearings. The most common cause of bearing failures has something to do with lubrication.

Industrial grease are primarily used for bearings. Improper application of the grease can result to failure. There are several greasing problems that maintenance personnel and lubrication technicians must avoid.

Insufficient or complete absence of grease. Bearings require an adequate supply of grease. Oversight or technical mistake during the application can lead to lubricant starvation. Heat is the most damaging effect of lubricant starvation. Some bearings have components that are sensitive to heat. Even the most durable components are susceptible to damage and deformation once temperature reach extreme values.

Too much grease applied. Over greasing must also be avoided to prevent compromising the integrity of the seal and to avoid excess grease from flowing to other parts that must not be lubricated or sensitive to any foreign material.

Incompatible grease. The grease to be used must be compatible with the application conditions. The grease must meet the required operating temperature range, the ideal viscosity and necessary protective properties.

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