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Bearing Failure Analysis

Overview
This section will give the attendee a broad
overview of failure analysis. The best way to
gain expertise in this subject is to examine as
many damaged bearings as possible. Although
each failure is unique, evidence will emerge
that often allows the determination of root
cause, which will lead to the application of the
proper corrective action to reduce or eliminate
future failures.
In designing the bearing mounting, the first step
is to decide which type and size of bearings to
use. This choice is usually based on a certain
desired life for the bearing. The next step is to
design the application, with allowance for
prevailing service conditions. nfortunately, too
many of the ball and roller bearings installed
never attain their calculated life expectancy
because of something done, or left undone, in
handling, installation, and maintenance.
The calculated life expectancy of any bearing is
based on four assumptions!
". #ood lubrication in proper quantity will
always be available to the bearing.
$. The bearing will be mounted without
damage.
%. &imensions of parts related to the bearing
will be correct.
'. There are no defects inherent in the
bearing.
(owever, even when properly applied and
maintained, the bearing may be exposed to one
further cause of failure) fatigue of the bearing
material. *atigue is the result of shear stresses
cyclically applied immediately below the load
carrying surfaces, and is observed as spalling
away of surface metal. Although spalling can
be readily observed, it is necessary to discern
between spalling produced at the normal end of
a bearing+s useful life and that which is
triggered by causes found in the three major
classifications of premature spalling! lubrication,
mechanical damage, and material defects.
,ost bearing failures are attributed to one or
more of the following causes!
&efective bearing seats on shafts and in
housings
,isalignment
*aulty mounting practice
Incorrect shaft and housing fits
Inadequate lubrication
Ineffective sealing
-ibration while the bearing is not rotating
.assage of electric current through the
bearing
Transportation, storage, and handling
Bearing Life
The life of a rolling bearing is defined as the
number of revolutions /or the number of
operating hours at a given constant speed0
which the bearing is capable of enduring before
the first sign of fatigue occurs on one of its rings
or rolling elements /fla1ing, spalling0.
It is, however, evident from both laboratory tests
and practical experience that seemingly
identical bearings operating under identical
conditions have different lives. A clearer
definition of the term 2life3 is therefore essential
for the calculation of bearing size. All
information presented by 45* on dynamic load
ratings is based on the life that 67 percent of a
sufficiently large group of apparently identical
bearings can be expected to attain or exceed.
This is called 2basic rating life,3 and agrees with
the I48 definition. The median life is
approximately five times the calculated basic
rating life.
There are several other bearing 2lives.3 8ne of
these is the 2service life,3 which is the actual life
achieved by a specific bearing before it fails.
*ailure is not generally by fatigue in the first
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service 1
Bearing Failure Analysis
instance, but by wear, corrosion, seal failure,
mishandling, etc. Another is 2specification life.3
This is the life specified by an authority, based
on hypothetical load and speed data supplied
by the same authority. It is generally a requisite
9"7 /basic rating life0, and is assumed that the
authority has related the specification to
experience gained with similar machinery, to
obtain adequate service life.
Load-Path Patterns and their
Meanings
There are many ways bearings can be
damaged before and during mounting, and in
service. The pattern or load zone produced by
the action of the applied load and the rolling
elements on the internal surfaces of the bearing
is a clue to the cause of failure.
To benefit from a study of load zones, you must
be able to differentiate between normal and
abnormal patterns. The figure illustrates how
an applied load of constant direction is
distributed among the rolling elements of a
bearing. The large arrow indicates the applied
load. The series of small arrows show the
share of this load supported by each ball or
roller in the bearing.
The rotating ring will have a continuous %:7
degrees zone, while the stationary ring will
show a pattern of approximately ";7 degrees.
The figure illustrates the load zone found inside
a ball bearing when the inner ring rotates and
the load has a constant direction.
The figure illustrates the load zone resulting if
the outer ring rotates relative to a load of
constant direction, or where the inner ring
rotates and the load also rotates in phase with
the shaft.
<ombined thrust and radial load will produce a
pattern shown in the figure above. =ith
combined load, the loaded area of the inner ring
is slightly off>center, and the length in the outer
ring is greater than that produced by radial load,
but not necessarily %:7 degrees. In a double>
row bearing, a combined load will produce load
zones of unequal length. The thrust>carrying
row will have a longer stationary load zone. If
the thrust is of sufficient magnitude, one row of
rolling elements can be completely unloaded.
The load path shows uniform wear on both the
inner and outer ring. .ure thrust /axial0 load is
2 SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
rare. If axial load is present, it is usually
accompanied by radial load.
<ertain types of bearings can tolerate only very
limited amounts of misalignment. A deep
groove ball bearing, when misaligned, will
produce load zones not parallel to the ball
groove on one or both rings, depending on
which ring is misaligned. The figure illustrates
the load zone when the outer ring is misaligned
relative to the shaft.
(ere, the inner ring is misaligned with respect
to the outer ring. <ylindrical roller bearings and
angular contact ball bearings are also sensitive
to misalignment, but it is more difficult to detect
this condition from the load zones.
,isalignment is a common source of premature
spalling, occurring when a shoulder is not
square with the journal, or where a housing
shoulder is out>of>square with the housing bore.
,isalignment arises when two housings are not
on the same centerline. A bearing ring can be
misaligned even though it is mounted on a tight
fit, yet not pressed against its shoulder causing
it to be left coc1ed on its seat. ?earing outer
rings in slip>fitted housings that are coc1ed
across their opposite corners can also result in
misalignment.
sing self>aligning bearings does not cure
some of the foregoing misalignment faults.
=hen the inner ring of a self>aligning bearing is
not square with its shaft seat, the inner ring is
required to wobble as it rotates. This results in
smearing and early fatigue. =here an outer
ring is coc1ed in its housing across corners, a
normally floating outer ring can become axially
held and can be radially pinched in its housing.
Misalignment
@oll the bearing rings on a flat surface and note
the position of the wear patterns. ,isaligned
patterns will slalom bac1 and forth across the
raceway surface. Thrust loads will simply move
the wear path to one side.
&istorted or out>of>round housing bores can
radially pinch an outer ring. The figure above
illustrates the load zone found in a bearing
where the housing bore was initially out>of>
round or became out>of>round by bolting the
housing to a concave or convex surface. In this
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service 3
Bearing Failure Analysis
case, the outer ring will show two or more load
zones depending on the type of distortion.
The figure is a picture of a bearing that had
been mounted in an out>of>round housing that
pinched the stationary outer ring. This is a
mirror view and shows both sides of the outer
ring raceway.
If the fit is too tight, the bearing can be internally
preloaded by compressing the rolling elements
between the two rings. In this case, the load
zones observed in the bearing indicate that this
is not a normal life failure. ?oth rings are
loaded through %:7 degrees, but the pattern will
usually be wider in the stationary ring out>of>
round where the applied load is superimposed
most on the internal preload.
4ome applications, such as sha1er screens,
polishing machines, and other vibratory sorters,
employ a weight attached to the shaft to
produce eccentric motion in the machine.
4ince the load rotates in phase with inner ring
raceway, a stationary load zone results.
In unbalanced applications, the load does not
rotate in phase with either ring, producing a
load zone on both rings. This condition often
produces creep if the outer ring is loosely fit.
*an applications are a common source of this
load pattern.
Failure Mode Classification
". <auses of *ailures (ave Identifiable
<haracteristics
$. *ailure ,echanisms (ave Identifiable
*ailure ,odes
%. 8bserved &amage <an Identify *ailure
<auses
The primary cause of failure analysis is to
identify the true cause of failure. <orrective
actions and verification of success are
impossible without this first step. This
classification system is in the development
stage, and may change significantly prior to I48
submission. The proposed system arose from
a desire to standardize terminology and
methodology for analyzing bearing failures.
Three underlying principles were adopted in
developing the system!
<auses of *ailures (ave Identifiable
<haracteristics
Although there are many causes for failures,
each one can be uniquely identified.
*ailure ,echanisms (ave Identifiable
*ailure ,odes
*ailure mechanisms can be organized into
logical groups. These groupings can be used to
more quic1ly identify the root cause of failure.
8bserved &amage <an Identify *ailure
<auses
<areful observation of the failed parts and
associated components will eliminate other
causes and lead to true root cause.
4 SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
2?earings only fail in two ways, either from the
inside or the outside.3 This adage is a basic
way to begin to eliminate failure causes and
begin the search for root cause.
The actual beginning of spalling /or fla1ing0 is
invisible because its origin is usually below the
surface. The subsurface crac1 grows under
continued cyclic stresses and eventually brea1s
the surface, where the damage can be detected
by condition monitoring equipment. ?y the time
spalling reaches larger proportions, the
condition should ma1e itself 1nown by noise. If
the surrounding noise level is great enough, a
bearing+s condition can be evaluated with a
monitoring device. The time between incipient
and advanced spalling varies with speed and
load. 4palling is generally not a sudden
condition that causes destructive failure within a
matter of hours. <omplete bearing failure and
consequent damage to machine parts is usually
avoided due to the noise the bearing produces,
and the erratic performance of the shaft
supported by the bearing.
<ylindrical and tapered roller bearings can
accommodate only very small misalignments,
even if crowned. If misalignment is
appreciable, edge loading, a source of
premature fatigue, results. Adge loading from
misalignment was responsible for the spalling in
the bearing ring shown in the above figure.
The above figure shows fatigue spalling caused
by improper handling /impact damage0. The
damage can occur from blows to the bearing
during mounting, or from damage while
mounting external components, or other heavy
shoc1 loads, such as transportation damage. If
the cage poc1et spacing matches the dent
spacing, it is corroborative of impact damage,
also 1nown as true brinelling.
B 4urface distress
B @educed
lubrication regime
B 4liding motion
B ?urnishing,
glazing
B Asperity
microcrac1s
B Asperity
microspalls
40 m
Surface initiated fatigue
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Subsurface fatigue
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service 5
Bearing Failure Analysis
All bearings need lubricants for reliable
operation. The curvature of the contact areas
between rolling element and raceway in normal
operation results in minute amounts of sliding
motion, in addition to the rolling. Also, the cage
must be carried on either the rolling elements or
some surface of the bearing rings, or a
combination of these. In most types of roller
bearings, there are roller end faces that slide
against a flange or a cage. These reasons give
even more importance to adequate lubrication
at all times.
The term 2lubrication failure3 is too often ta1en
to imply that there was no oil or grease in the
bearing. =hile this does happen occasionally,
failure analysis is usually not that simple. ,any
cases require a thorough examination of the
lubricant+s properties, the amount of lubricant
applied to the bearing, and the operating
conditions. If any one of these factors does not
meet requirements, the bearing can be said to
have failed from inadequate lubrication.
-iscosity of the oil, either as oil itself or as the
oil in grease, is the primary characteristic of
adequate lubrication. The nature of a grease+s
soap base, and its consistency, along with the
viscosity of the oil, are the main quality points
when considering a grease. The quantity of
lubricant required in a bearing at any one time
is usually rather small, but the supply must be
constant and consistent.
If the lubricant is oil, and is being used for heat
removal as well as for lubrication, then a larger
quantity is required. An insufficient quantity of
grease at medium to high speeds generates a
temperature rise and, usually, a whistling
sound. An excessive amount of grease results
in churning, which produces a temperature rise
in all, but exceptionally slow, speed bearings. A
lubricant that is adequate under normal
conditions can be made inadequate when
operational conditions produce abnormally high
temperatures.
Inadequate lubrication causes surface damage.
This damage progresses rapidly to failures that
are often difficult to differentiate from a failure
due to material fatigue or spalling. 4palling will
occur and often destroy the evidence of
inadequate lubrication. (owever, if caught
early, indications that pinpoint the real cause of
the short bearing life can be found.
8ne form of surface damage is shown in stages
in the following figure. The first visible
indication of trouble is usually a fine roughening
or waviness on the surface. 9ater, fine crac1s
develop, followed by spalling. If there is
insufficient heat removal, the temperature may
rise high enough to cause discoloration and
softening of the hardened bearing steel.
In some cases, inadequate lubrication initially
appears as a highly glazed or glossy surface,
which, as damage progresses, ta1es on a frosty
appearance and eventually spalls.
In the frosty stage, it is sometimes possible to
feel the 2nap3 of fine slivers of metal pulled from
the bearing raceway by the rolling element.
The frosted area will feel smooth in one
direction, but have distinct roughness in the
6 SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
other. As metal is pulled from the surface, pits
appear and frosting advances to pulling.
B .rogressive @emoval of ,aterial
B Accelerating .rocess
B Inadequate 9ubrication
B Ingress of &irt .articles
Adhesive wear
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Abrasive wear
Although foreign matter can enter a bearing
during mounting, its most direct and sustained
area of entry can be the housing seals. The
result of gross change in bearing internal
geometry has been detailed. ?earing
manufacturers realize the damaging effect of
dirt and ta1e extreme precautions to deliver
clean bearings. Cot only assembled bearings,
but also parts in process are washed and
cleaned. *reedom from abrasive matter is so
important that some bearings are assembled in
air>conditioned white rooms.
=ear of the bearing as a whole also results
from inadequate lubrication. The areas subject
to sliding friction such as locating flanges and
the ends of rollers in a roller bearing are the first
parts affected. The figure shows a large bore
tapered roller bearing failure due to an
insufficient amount of lubricant resulting from
too low a flow rate in a circulating oil system.
The area between the guide flange and the
large end of the roller is subject to sliding
motion.
A peculiar type of smearing occurs when rolling
elements slide, as they pass from the unloaded
to the loaded zone. The top right figure
illustrates the patches of s1id smearing, one in
each row. Insufficient load, a lubricant that is
too stiff, excessive clearance, and insufficient
lubrication in load zone can all contribute to
smearing.
To avoid lubrication>related surface failures, be
aware of the following!
4ufficient elastohydrodynamic film prevents
surface distress /glazing, frosting0.
.roper lubrication guards against smearing
and sliding surface wear.
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
<lean lubricants prevent significant wear of
rolling surfaces.
As long as the rolling element and raceway
surfaces in rolling contact can be separated by
an elastohydrodynamic oil film, surface distress
is avoided. The continuous presence of the film
depends on contact area, the load it carries, the
speed, operating temperature, the surface
finish, and the oil viscosity.
In unusual applications, when viscosity
selection must be governed by the sliding
areas, experience has proven that the viscosity
chosen is capable of maintaining the necessary
elastohydrodynamic film in the rolling contacts.
D ";7E > "FFE < /%77E > %;7E *0
D "FFE > $7;E < /%;7E > '77E *0
D $7;E > $:7E < /'77E > ;77E *0
D G $:7E < /G ;77E *0
D G ;'7E < /G "777E *0
45* ?earings can be used at temperatures up to
"$;E < /H $;7E *0
B (igher temperatures may cause loss of (ardness
B 9oss of $>' points of @oc1well (ardness reduces life ;7I
Temperature Discoloration
4traw <olor! H";7>"F;E< /H%77 > %;7*0
&ar1er ?rown! H"F;>$77E< /H%;7 > '77*0
?lue! H$77>$;7E< /H'77 > ;77*0
?lac1! Above $:7E< /H ;77*0
?lac1, #ray, 9oose 4cale
Above ;77E< /H"777*0
B 8xidation J rust
B <hemical
reaction
B <orrosion pits J
fla1ing
B Atching /water J
oil mixture0
Frictional corrosion
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Moisture corrosion
False brinelling
Fretting corrosion
In addition to abrasive matter, corrosive agents
should be excluded from bearings. =ater, acid,
and those agents that deteriorate lubricants
resistance to corrosion must all be excluded.
The figures above illustrate how moisture in the
lubricant can rust rollers and raceways. The
etching in the bearing on the right occurred
when the bearing was not rotating. Acids
forming in lubricant with water present etch the
surface. Aven small amounts of water are
dangerous! 7." percent water in the lubricant
can reduce the effective viscosity by ;7 percent.
B ,icro
movement of
mating parts
B 8xidation of
asperities
B .owdery rust
B 9oss of material
B 8ccurs in fit
interfaces
Frictional corrosion
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Moisture corrosion
False brinelling
Fretting corrosion
=hen an interference fit is required, it must be
sufficient to prevent fretting corrosion. *retting
corrosion is the mechanical wearing of material
! SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
from movement between two surfaces resulting
in oxidation or rust colored appearance. The
corrosion is usually found on the inner ring bore
or outer ring 8&, and corresponds to load zone
areas.
?earing damage is also caused by bearing
seats that are concave, convex, tapered or
excessively worn. 8n such a seat, a bearing
ring cannot ma1e contact throughout its width.
The ring therefore deflects under the loads and
fatigue crac1s commonly appear axially along
the raceway.
B @olling element J raceway
B ,icro movements J elastic deformations
B -ibrations
B <orrosion J wear! shiny or reddish
depressions
B 4tationary! &amage at rolling element
spacing
B @otating! &amage exhibits parallel flutes
Frictional corrosion
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Moisture corrosion
False brinelling
Fretting corrosion
@olling bearings exposed to vibration while the
shafts are not rotating are subject to damage
called false brinelling. The evidence can be
either bright polished depressions or the
characteristic red>brown stain of fretting. The
oxidation rate at the point of contact determines
the appearance. -ariation in the vibration load
causes minute sliding in the area of contact
between rolling elements and raceways. 4mall
particles of material are set free from the
contact surfaces and may, or may not be,
immediately oxidized. The debris formed acts
as a lapping agent, and accelerates the wear.
4ince false brinelling is a true wear condition,
such damage can be observed even though the
forces applied during vibration are much
smaller than those corresponding to the static
carrying capacity of the bearing. (owever, the
damage is more extensive as the contact load
on the rolling elements increases.
*alse brinelling occurs most frequently during
transportation of assembled machines.
-ibration fed through a foundation can generate
false brinelling of a shaft that is not rotating.
*alse brinelling during transportation can
always be minimized and usually eliminated by
temporary structures that prevent any rotation
or axial movement of the shaft.
Another identification of damage of this type is
the spacing of the mar1s on the raceway. The
spacing of false brinelling will be equal to the
distance between the rolling elements, just as it
is in some types of true brinelling. If the bearing
has rotated slightly between periods of
vibration, more than one pattern of false
brinelling damage may be seen.
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service "
Bearing Failure Analysis
False Brinelling Caused by Static
Vibration
False brinelling s! True Brinelling
True brinell /denting0 will still show machine
mar1s in the dented area.
A combination of vibration and abrasion in a
rotating bearing is seen in the wavy pattern.
=hen these waves are more closely spaced,
the pattern is called fluting and appears similar
to electric erosion. *alse ?rinelling may be
distinguished from Alectrical Arosion by the
presence of small pits in the raceway surfaces,
visible under magnification. Another indicator is
color. ?rinelling damage is typically light
grayish in color, while electrical erosion is often
dar1 gray, or nearly blac1. ,etallurgical
examination may be necessary to distinguish
between fluting caused solely by abrasive and
vibration or by vibration and passage of electric
current.
Individual electric mar1s, pits, and fluting have
been produced in test bearings. ?oth
alternating and direct current can cause the
damage. Amperage rather than voltage
governs the amount of damage. =hen a
bearing is under radial load, greater internal
looseness in the bearing appears to result in
greater electrical damage for the same current.
In a double>row bearing loaded in thrust, little, if
any damage results in the thrust>carrying row,
although the opposite row may be damaged.
In certain electrical machinery applications,
there is the possibility that electric current will
pass through a bearing. <urrent that see1s
ground through the bearing can be generated
from stray magnetic fields in the machinery. It
can also be caused by welding on some part of
the machine with the ground attached, requiring
the circuit to pass through the bearing.
An electric current can be generated by static
electricity, emanating from charged belts or
from manufacturing processes involving leather,
paper, cloth, or rubber. This current can pass
through the shaft to the bearing and then to
ground. =hen the current is bro1en at the
contact surfaces between rolling elements and
raceways, arcing results. This produces very
localized high temperature and consequent
damage. The overall damage to the bearing is
in proportion to the number and size of
individual damage points.
1# SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
Another type of electrical damage occurs when
current passes during prolonged periods and
the number of individual pits accumulate
drastically. The result is fluting. This condition
can occur in ball or roller bearings. *lutes can
develop considerable depth, producing noise
and vibration during operation and eventual
fatigue from local overstressing. The formation
of flutes rather than a homogeneous dispersion
of pits cannot be clearly explained. It is
possible that it is related to initial
synchronization of shoc1s or vibrations and the
brea1ing of the current. 8nce the fluting has
started, it is probably a self>perpetuating
phenomenon.
S"F #lectric $rcing Solutions
4ilicon Citride ?alls are natural electrical
insulators, providing a simple solution instead of
shaft grounding or housing insulation. <osts
have declined significantly since ceramic balls
were introduced in the "667s. Insocoat, a
proprietary coating process, is available from
stoc1 on popular sizes, and made>to>order on
request. <hec1 45* for availability.
4tatic or shoc1 loads
B .lastic deformations
B &epressions at rolling element
spacing
B (andling damage
Indentation
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Overload
Indents b handling
Indents from debris
.lastic deformation implies that the material+s
elastic deformation limit has been exceeded
and has flowed permanently into a new shape.
In this case, hammer blows applied directly to
the bearing have caused the plastic
deformation observed. In addition to the
damage caused to the bearing, personal safety
can be compromised if the bearing fractures.
B 9ocalized overloading
B 8ver>rolling of particles K dents
B <aused by soft J hardened steel J hard mineral particles
Indentation
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Overload
Indents b handling
Indents from debris
&enting eventually leads to spalling. <lose
examination of spalls will reveal their true origin
/subsurface or surface initiated0. @ecent
studies by 45* indicate that denting of as little
as ten percent of the rolling surfaces of the
bearing causes a 67 percent reduction in
predicted life.
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service 11
Bearing Failure Analysis
B 9ocalized
overloading
B Cic1s caused by
hard J sharp
objects
Indentation
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Overload
Indents b handling
Indents from debris
&ents from debris or handling damage leave a
depression in the bearing surface. nder load,
the front and bac1 edges of the dent act as a
stress riser. =hen over>rolled under
elastohydrodynamic pressures, higher than
normal local stresses result. This leads to
localized spalling in the dented area. The
spalled material creates additional dents,
further accelerating the bearing+s premature
failure.
This type of damage is commonly seen when a
puller is used to remove the bearing via the
outer ring. Identification of root cause is aided
by noting that the indentations are at intervals
equal to the roller spacing. It may be possible
to disassemble 4pherical or <A@? bearings to
allow inner ring removal without damage.
<ylindrical roller bearings are subject to
damage if care is not ta1en to support the
rollers during mounting. 8ne technique is to
insert a plastic or cardboard sleeve inside the
roller set to prevent roller drop. As the roller set
is mounted, the sleeve is pushed out by the
inner ring.
In addition to plastic deformation, high impact
loads or local overstress may fracture bearing
components. <ommon causes include hammer
blows and improper distribution of forces from
bearing pullers. This is one reason three>arm
jaw>type pullers are generally preferred over
two>jaw types.
Axcessive press fit or burrs trapped under
bearing rings can also lead to fractures. =ith
modern inspection techniques, material failure
is rare. In this case, cut out the crac1ed section
of the ring to examine the crac1 propagation
mar1s. The crac1 pattern may reveal the cause
of the fracture.
12 SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service
Bearing Failure Analysis
B Axceeding
fatigue strength
under bending
B <rac1 initiation
J propagation
B *inally forced
fracture
B @ings and
<ages
Forced fracture
Fatigue fracture
!hermal crac"ing
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
B (igh sliding and
J or insufficient
lubrication
B (igh friction heat
B <rac1s at right
angle to sliding
direction
Forced fracture
Fatigue fracture
!hermal crac"ing
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
8ften accompanied with fretting, rings
unsupported by proper fit may fracture
catastrophically. <omponents subjected to
large or cyclic moment /bending0 loads may
also fracture.
Also called 2heat chec1ing,3 thermal crac1ing
results from relatively high speeds generating
extreme temperatures between sliding
surfaces. 4urfaces may also be discolored
from the heat. 9ac1s of proper fit and improper
repair practices, allowing ring creep, are two
common causes of thermal crac1ing.
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Forced fracture
Fatigue fracture
!hermal crac"ing
Overload
Indentation
Indents from debris
Indents b handling
Moisture corrosion
Frictional corrosion
Fretting corrosion
False brinelling
E#cessive voltage
Current lea"age
Adhesive wear
Abrasive wear
Surface initiated fatigue
Subsurface fatigue
Electrical erosion
Wear
Corrosion
Fracture
Fatigue
Plastic deformation
Forced fracture
Fatigue fracture
!hermal crac"ing
Overload
Indentation
Indents from debris
Indents b handling
Moisture corrosion
Frictional corrosion
Fretting corrosion
False brinelling
E#cessive voltage
Current lea"age
Adhesive wear
Abrasive wear
Surface initiated fatigue
Subsurface fatigue
sing the failure mode chart to assist in
analyzing failed bearings will reduce
guesswor1. 4peedier root cause identification
for corrective action is the result.
Securing Evidence
<ollect 8perating &ata, ,onitoring &ata
<ollect 9ubricant 4amples
<hec1 ?earing Anvironment/s0
Assess ?earing/s0 in ,ounted <ondition
,ar1 ,ounting .osition/s0
@emove, ,ar1, and ?ag ?earing/s0 and
.arts
<hec1 ?earing 4eats
4tandardized, written failure analysis
procedures are recommended to achieve
consistent, reliable root cause identification.
Axternal failure analysis services may be
justified for high>cost or critical machinery. A
failure analysis form for data collection is
available from 45* Applications Angineering.
Conducting the Analysis
Axamine bearing/s0 and parts
@ecord visual observations
se the failure modes to eliminate possible
improbable causes and determine the
original cause of the failure
<ontact external resources for assistance, if
needed
Initiate corrective action, if desired
SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service 13
Bearing Failure Analysis
14 SKF Reliability Systems - Bearing Maintenance and Service