How to Prevent the Failure of Industrial Bearings

industrial bearings

How to Prevent the Failure of Industrial Bearings

The bearing industry is the widest and the most critical in the world of mechanics. Few, to no mechanical assemblies can happen without the involvement of bearings. Bearings deliver appropriate motion to machine moving parts. Can you believe that a car or machine part is of no use if a bearing does not provide the momentum it needs to turn or move? Bearings ultimately provide mobility and motion for machine parts. Without bearings, moving parts collide, create friction and heat, and will eventually damage the operating capacity of the equipment.

Considering the role of industrial bearings, maintaining them is critical to delivering the expected life, performance and service. In cases of poor maintenance, the bearings will fail to perform as expected.

Why Do Industrial Bearings Fail?

Many factors are responsible for the failure of bearings. Today, we will uncover some of the factors that cause industrial bearings to fail.

Improper or Inefficient Lubrication

Lubrication creates a protective barrier between rolling elements and raceways, and between the cage, rings and rolling elements. The choice of lubricant depends on conditions such as operating temperature, rotating speed, loads and the environment. Since lubrication is the most vital part for the successful application of the bearing, lubricating it at the right time with the correct lubricant gives exceptional performance. Using either too much or too little lubrication can harm the bearing, generating heat, cracks, spalling, and metal fatigue in the rollers and raceways. Naturally, it follows that if bearings have issues, the function of the associated equipment or machinery is impacted, and operation is reduced.

Make sure you follow your bearing manufacturers guidance on how and when to lubricate. Frequent relubrication is an excellent means of preventing contamination, as regreasing purges used grease, and any contaminants it may contain, from the bearing and bearing housing. Invest in the right lubrication and tools for maintaining the quality of your machinery and keep your lubricant away from any contaminants.

Contamination of foreign particles

Cleaning solutions and lubricants are prone to contamination from foreign particles. These include dirt, metal chips, dust, abrasive grit, etc. As mentioned above, such particles may leave physical damage such as small dents or fatigue sites on the rollers, balls, or raceways, eventually creating spalling, the flaking away of metal from the raceway.

Excessive Heat

Inefficient lubrication in the bearing can also result in overheating of the metal which leads to excessive heating of the equipment and shafts. Heat and high temperatures can also affect the lubricant properties and viscosity. For example, when the grease heats beyond its dropping point, viscosity will be impaired, and the grease may leak out of the bearing. With no protective barrier metal to metal of the ball/rollers and raceways will generate heat. If allowed to continue this heat can warp, cause expansion, or reduce the clearance in the bearing, preventing the rolling elements from functioning properly within the equipment.

Misalignment & Improper Mounting

Misalignment of the machinery and bearing will make a machine underperform. Bent or damaged shafts, misaligned clamping nuts, and other machinery damage can cause misalignment between the two elements, as the bearing cannot be mounted correctly.

Bearings must be mounted correctly, ensuring a good fit so the bearing can function as expected. Inadequate shaft fits, excessively tight, loose, or ill-fitting housings, and so on may result in unnecessary heating, cracks, or internal damage to the bearings. When mounting, keep the bearings clean and away from any debris, dust, or contamination during the installation procedure. Always use the right mounting procedures, tools, and personnel to eliminate misalignment.

Poor storage

Bearing failure can occur due to improper or inappropriate storage of bearings. Moisture, heat, acid, and environmental factors can cause corrosion, affecting the surfaces of the ball and roller bearings, even before it is used. Storage needs to be managed carefully for enhanced shelf life. Industrial bearings must remain safe and away from unnecessary temperature changes, moisture, or contaminants to perform perfectly once mounted.


Each bearing is designed with a specific capacity and load ability. If you overload the equipment, it may become either dysfunctional or face irreparable issues. Operator error, operational changes, or sudden stresses can cause the ball-bearing or roller bearing to fail. Noticing an unusual noise is a sure sign of overloading. Excessive heating or accidental overload can keep the bearing from functioning at its optimal level. It is vital that the operator understands the severity of this issue and take preventive measures to control the maximum load on the bearing. It will save unnecessary expenses on replacements as well as reduce the need for downtime.

It is crucial to have effective and regular maintenance schedules and procedures in place, to protect bearings from these unexpected failures. Regular maintenance can eliminate many of the problems associated with poor life expectancy from industrial bearings.

Are you trying to find the best manufacturer and wholesaler for industrial bearings? If yes, then we can be your ultimate solution. Contact us today to get the best ball-bearing selection and exceptional after-sales service.

As a final note, always buy from an Authorised Distributor to ensure that your bearings are genuine.

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