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      3 bearing killers and how to stop them: Part 1-3

      2011-10-29 10:52:59 dmsw 15

      dimsenBearingKillers-Fig.3#3: Overheating. A primary function of proper lubrication is to prevent the overheating of bearings and associated components. Overheating can lead to damage and ultimately breakdown for a variety of reasons related to the lubricant. Higher temperatures can be caused by ambient temperatures, process temperatures, and severe operating conditions that can increase rolling contact friction. Likewise, lower ambient temperatures can have a negative effect—lubricant viscosity increases at lower temperatures and can cause improper flow and therefore compromise protective benefits. Your lubricant supplier can provide the ideal operating temperature change.

      Technicians can and should do more than simply follow supplier instructions to ensure lubricants are performing properly and keeping their bearings at the appropriate temperatures. Be vigilant about monitoring bearings for heat-related trouble signs that can impact lubrication and ultimately the bearing itself. In order of severity, these symptoms include:
       Bearing discoloration. This will occur as a result of metal-to-metal contact, a sure sign of a lubrication issue. Look for gold and blue discoloration on races and rollers; lubricant staining is common in mild cases, while the metal itself may be discolored by excessive heat in worse cases.
       Peeling and scoring. Marks cut into the metal or peeling metal indicate a more severe lubrication/heat issue and should be addressed immediately.
       Localized scoring. This occurs due to the breakdown of the lubricating film which causes direct contact between components. Address immediately.
       Cumulative wear. High localized heat can alter the geometry of the bearing itself, resulting in a locked-up bearing that can cause significant additional damage.