Bearing failures and their causes
Bearings are among the most important components in the vast majority of machines and exacting demands are made upon their carrying capacity and reliability. Therefore it is quite natural that rolling bearings should have come to play such a prominent part and that over the years they have been the subject of extensive research. Indeed rolling bearing technology has developed into a particular branch of science. SKF has been well to the forefront right from the start and has long led this field
Among the benefits resulting from this research has been the ability to calculate the life of a bearing with considerable accuracy, thus making it possible to match the bearing life with the service life of the machine involved.
Unfortunately it sometimes happens that a bearing does not attain its calculated rating life. There may be many reasons for this - heavier loading than has been anticipated, inadequate or unsuitable lubrication, careless handling, ineffective sealing, or fits that are too tight, with resultant insufficient internal bearing clearance. Each of these factors produces its own particular type of damage and leaves its own special imprint on the bearing. Consequently, by examining a damaged bearing, it is possible, in the majority of cases, to form an opinion on the cause of the damage and to take the requisite action to prevent a recurrence.
See also SKF Bearing Inspector.