Common Solutions on How to Prevent Bearing Brinelling

March 18, 2019

As detailed previously, bearing brinelling is an indentation effect that occurs when the elastic limits of a product’s race surfaces are surpassed. The balls push against the hard steel ring, and the spheroids create dents. Knowledge is power, as they say, so surely this particular nugget of information must be of help as a dent avoidance measure. At least that’s the theory.

Theoretical Brinelling Solutions

Installed properly, bearings handle all kinds of stress with ease, at least that’s the supposition. By reducing system vibrations, heavy waves of noise are also eliminated. Again, that’s the principle we accept when developing common load reduction solutions. Before applying those theories, let’s take a closer look at the symptoms. Are those indents evenly spaced and deep? What if they’re located axially as narrow band depressions? If an engineer is to create an effective brinelling solution, he needs to know why these different indentation patterns are occurring.

Implementing a Practical Solutions Strategy

From past studies, we know why those different patterns happen. For “True Brinelling,” which is seen as that deep indentation effect, excess loading effects or vibrations are stressing the bearing while it’s in motion. In “False Brinelling,” the depressions are caused by non-rotation problems, so a look at a poorly implemented transportation system might be a good idea at this point. At any rate, we need to reduce those equipment vibrations. The noise is propagating through joined parts. Fasteners and welds are allowing the waves of kinetic energy to pass along the system. Rubber washers could help here. Then, instead of noise-propagating conduits, those sections should be replaced by noise-isolating flexible hoses.

Introduce Preventative Measures

It’s always a good idea to introduce an improved design before a problem causes damage. That approach proves a good engineer is on the ball. The equipment load shouldn’t be too heavy. Along the same line of reasoning, shock loads should be avoided whenever possible. By the way, apart from system loading issues, a correct installation plan is key here, for even a small misalignment error will introduce bearing brinelling problems. Given enough time, that error will introduce noise and longevity-shortening effects that will take their toll on an otherwise high-performance equipment line.

The frustrating thing about many of these problems is the fact that they’re easy to avoid. For our common solutions guide, a good approach to all of these issues is to check then recheck the bearing. Misalignment errors disappear when procedural excellence becomes the norm. Transportation issues and loading problems are similarly minimized when adopting this quality-assurance policy. As for the noise issue, it’s the job of the equipment designer/installer to eliminate all potential vibration pathways.

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