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Common causes of motor bearing failures and solutions

Each of the following five factors creates a specific type of damage and leaves a special mark on the bearing. Therefore, by examining failed bearings, the root cause of bearing failure can be determined, so that necessary corrective measures can be taken to prevent repeated failures.

Failure due to electrical corrosion

When current flows from one raceway to another raceway through the rolling elements, it will cause electrical corrosion or sparks. The degree of damage depends on the amount of energy and the length of time, but the results are often the same: galvanic pits on the rollers and raceways, rapid degradation of the lubricant, and premature bearing failure. To prevent damage caused by current, insulated bearings are usually used on the non-drive end.

Failure due to insufficient lubrication and contamination

If the viscosity of the lubricant is insufficient or contains impurities, the lubricant film between the rolling elements and the raceway will become thinner, which will cause metal to metal contact. To avoid this, first check if the correct lubricant is being used and check if the relubrication interval and dosage are suitable for this application. If the lubricant contains contaminants, check the seals and determine if they need to be replaced or renewed. Depending on the application, in some cases it is necessary to use a high viscosity lubricant to increase the oil film thickness.

Failure due to vibration

If the rotor shaft of the motor is not firmly fixed during transportation, vibration may be generated inside the bearing clearance, which may cause damage to the bearing. Similarly, if the motor is subjected to a long period of exogenous vibration when it is at rest, the bearing will also be damaged. The following methods can be used to fix the bearing during transportation: First, use a U-shaped flat steel bend to axially lock the shaft, carefully preload the non-driving end ball bearing, and then use a strap to give the bearing a radial load. If the standing period is extended, rotate the rotor shaft periodically.

Failure due to incorrect installation and assembly

Common errors in installation include misalignment, imbalance, excessive tensioning of the belt, etc., when the semi-coupling or pulley is mounted on the shaft with a hammer or other similar tool, which causes the bearing to overload. In order to prevent this, you can use shaft alignment tools and precision instruments such as M vibration analyzer to check the alignment and vibration, and use the appropriate tools and methods when installing bearings.

Failure due to insufficient bearing load

Bearings always need a small load to work properly. Damage caused by insufficient bearing preload can manifest as adhesive wear on rollers and raceways. To prevent this from happening again, make sure that a sufficient external load is applied to the bearing. It is especially important to keep in mind that cylindrical roller bearings are often used for heavier loads. This method is not suitable for preloading bearings.

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