Correct Bearing Installation Gives Maximum Optimisation in a Bearing’s Life Span

Blog | January 24th, 2017

Sliding elements work in concert to assure fluid rotational motion. They slide while canceling friction and enhancing lubricative prowess. Of course, as efficient as these component parts surely are, they can fail. Correct bearing installation practices postpone this possibility, but what happens when the installation is substandard? Let’s address correct bearing installation methods, procedures that will absolutely optimize the bearing and extend its lifespan.

Uniform Loading 

When we allow our imagined bearing to be improperly installed, it doesn’t align itself with its load properly. The burdensome force interacts with the sliding elements and surface raceways in an unpredictable manner. In short, it’s adopting a misaligned operational angle, so the rotating forces aren’t distributed uniformly. The moving elements, unable to compensate for the eccentric motion, will warp and deform. Surface contact points alter as the rotational dynamic alters, which leads to a rise in thermal energy. Frictional heat and vibrational energy then propagate until the bearing can no longer function.

Rolling Element Fatigue 

Correct bearing installation practices promote parts longevity. Unfortunately, we only gain insight into installation issues when we encounter a poorly installed component. It works inefficiently, causes vibrations, and generates heat. Energy losses are significant, and large periods of equipment downtime are likely. Rolling element fatigue represents one of the lesser events in the rolling parts’ lifespan, for the event generally doesn’t cause a whole system failure. Instead, it leeches system energy. It gets progressively worse, with shear stress damaging the smooth raceway, the rolling elements no longer travel on lubricating film, and the median life of the friction-handling unit taking a sharp downturn.

Establish Correct Installation Guidelines 

Angle of rotation is everything. The bearing should accommodate its drive shaft and its housing. All key ways and locking mechanisms should then be fitted, but the installation procedure now drops the coarse approach in favour of a finely-tuned methodology. Incremental adjustments align the part until it works at a precisely calibrated angle, an axial plane that eliminates the possibility of stress.

Thrust forces and shear stresses climb precipitously when bearings are rotating at high velocities. Properly aligned geometrical parts stand the test of time as the RPMs climb, but poorly installed bearings will work their way loose or operate at an unsupportable angle. The resulting lifespan decrease causes equipment downtime and lost productivity, so remember these problems when addressing the initial installation procedure, for this is the opportunity to make the bearings exhibit their best performance characteristics.

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