Ball bearing failure can hurt your bottom line like nothing else.

When your ball bearings fail, it can cause a wide variety of issues, including added down time, increased maintenance needs and missed deliveries — all of which hurt revenue and your bottom line. Luckily, almost all cases of ball bearing failure can be prevented; you simply have to know how! And, in order to do that, you first need to know what causes ball bearing failure in the first place. In our last blog, we went over the first five causes of ball bearing failure. Keep reading to learn more.

#6. Fatigue

Fatigue, otherwise called spalling, is typically caused by overloading, inner-ring fits that are too tight, an excessive preload or continued use of a ball bearing past its fatigue life. You’ll usually spot the signs of fatigue in the form of a fracture that runs along the surfaces, as well as the removal of tiny particles of material on the outer ring, inner ring and rolling elements. Spalling is a progressive problem that will only spread more over time. Furthermore, it’s typically accompanied by an increase in noise and vibration with use. To avoid fatigue, make sure that you replace bearings as necessary. It may also be wise to consider a new design that relies on bearings with a longer fatigue life.

#7. Electrical Damage

Electrical damage to a ball bearing, which is also called fluting, is caused with the passage of direct or alternating electrical currents through the bearing. Even low electrical currents can cause fluting. If there is electrical damage on a bearing, you’ll probably notice brownish marks on the part of the raceway parallel to the axis, or they may be covering the entire circumference of the raceway. In order to avoid fluting, you’ll need to prevent currents from passing through the bearing by using insulated bearings or grounding your bearings.

#8. False Brinelling

When the balls are moving rapidly in the raceway while the rest of the equipment is idle, it causes the lubrication to start wearing away. And, since the bearing isn’t rotating, it doesn’t return fresh lubricant to the spot, and this results in false brinelling. False brinelling can be spotted by linear marks located at the rolling element pitch in the axial direction. There may also be a lack of raised edges. To prevent false brinelling, make sure that you absorb or otherwise eliminate any vibration that could cause the ball to move. Additionally, always use lubricants that contain anti-wear additives.

#9. Improper Storage

The way you store your bearings has an impact on how long they last and how they perform. If bearings are stored improperly, it exposes them to dust and dampness. And, if you store bearings in an environment with high temperatures, it can degrade the grease and lead to lubrication problems. When storing bearings, make sure that you avoid high temperatures and dampness. Always store your bearings in a dry environment at room temperature, and make sure they are covered to avoid contamination during storage.

#10. Excessive Loads

It’s important to avoid adding too much weight to a bearing. Overloading a bearing can cause overheating and widespread fatigue. To avoid the damage caused by excessive loads, reduce the load or replace the bearing with one that has a greater capacity.

Let us help you avoid bearing failures with the right kind of ball bearings.

Although there are many things that can cause ball bearings to fail, the first step to avoiding it is to use the right kind of ball bearings. At HCH Bearings Americas, we utilize advanced ball bearing technology to guarantee precision-quality ball bearings for almost every industry. Contact us today to get started.