Bearing Failure: Why bearings fail & how you can prevent it

What’s a specific terrible noise that you just heard from deep inside one of your most essential pieces of equipment’s working? That was your bearing disrupting a vital process, and you will need to repair it quickly because slowdown is a destroyer of efficiency.

These are some of the critical indicators that can influence bearing lifeand how you can avoid the problems from occurring. You can get the most out of your bearings and make your application a great deal by learning more about these possible issues and understanding how to avoid them.

Lubrication Failure

Among the first factors assumed in the repairing of a bearing failure must be lubrication. Lubricants are sometimes misapplied since many alternatives are available. Up to 80% of bearing failures are caused by inadequate lubrication, as per the latest report. This involves insufficient lubrication, the use of inappropriate lubricants, or high lubricant-degrading temperatures.

How to Get It Fixed

Just use required lubricant form and right quantity, prevent grease loss and adopt suitable relubrication intervals.

Contamination or Corrosion

Contamination is produced by the introduction of chemical substances into lubes or cleaning solutions. This involves abrasive grit, dust, steel chips from polluted work zones, and dirty hands or instruments. The most widespread contaminants are soil, sand, and water, but chemicals and other corrosives often cause problems.

How to Get It Fixed

To decrease the chance of contamination, extract the lubricant and clean work areas, tools, fixtures, and hands.


Though not all, few bearings will handle slight misalignments between the shaft and the housing of the bearing. In more extreme situations, however, misalignment may be observed by a ball wear direction that is not parallel to the raceway edges on the raceway of the non-rotating frame.

How to Get It Fixed

Evaluate shafts and housings for shoulder and bearing seat runoff and use lock nuts of precision grade.

False Brinelling

Quick acceleration of the balls in a raceway during the lubrication while the machinery is idle wears away. Besides, a lack of bearing rotation does not enable the return of fresh lubricant to the spot. False brinelling results from any of these situations.

How to Get It Fixed

Minimize or absorb external vibration that can trigger the movement of the balls. Make sure to use lubricants that contain anti-wear additives, as well.


Spalling is usually the outcome of overloading, an excessive preload, tight inner-ring fits, and the bearing is used past its expected fatigue life. On the internal ring, outer ring, or balls, spalling may occur. This form of failure is progressive and will spread once initiated as a consequence of further action. A noticeable rise in vibration, suggesting an abnormality, will often follow it.

How to Get It Fixed

Substitute the bearing and allow a redesign that uses a bearing with higher measured fatigue life, inner clearances, and instructions for proper shaft and housing.


When interference fits exceed the radial clearance at operating temperatures, a tight fit can be caused by excessive loading of the rolling part. It is essential to mount the bearing to an appropriately measured shaft correctly. A loose fit can result from micro-motion between fitted parts where the fits are too flexible about the acting forces.

How to Get It Fixed

To prevent fit problems, ensure that a suitable clearance is chosen. Refer to the installation instructions for the producer.

Improper storage and handling

Improper storage reveals moisture and dirt to the bearings. Storing bearings at too high temperatures can also degrade grease shelf life, so always search for storage requirements with the grease manufacturer. Handling bearings can allow dirt in and expose bearings to corrosive elements by opening boxes and tearing wrappings prematurely.

How to Get It Fixed

Store the bearings at room temperature in a dry place. Often cover the bearings to keep them clean and take them to the installation site before unwrapping them when in storage.

Failures Prevention-

You have so far taken a significant step towards reducing machine failures by being aware of the numerous problems that can cause a bearing loss and the indications to look for. You don’t have to wait for the signs of a failure to take measures. Daily proactive steps will hold your bearings at peak performance for as long as possible, saving your company time and money.


Hi-bond Bearings Pvt. Ltd. is a provider of bearings and bushings for the mechanical engineering and manufacturing industries with a wide variety of high-quality bearings. For excellent plain shaft engine bearings and bushings, it is the absolute best.

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