Home / News / What Are the Potential Causes of Failure in Self-aligning Ball Bearings?

What Are the Potential Causes of Failure in Self-aligning Ball Bearings?

1.Misalignment:
Self-aligning ball bearings are designed to accommodate certain levels of misalignment between the shaft and the housing. However, excessive misalignment can lead to uneven distribution of loads across the bearing components, causing increased stress concentrations and premature wear. Continuous misalignment can result in brinelling or indentation of the raceways, leading to reduced bearing life and potential failure. Additionally, misalignment can contribute to increased friction and heat generation, further exacerbating wear and reducing bearing performance.

2.Overloading:
Subjecting self-aligning ball bearings to loads exceeding their rated capacity can lead to overloading and premature fatigue failure of the bearing components. Excessive loads cause increased contact pressures between the rolling elements and raceways, leading to plastic deformation, spalling, or fracture of bearing components. Overloading can also result in increased operating temperatures, accelerated wear of bearing surfaces, and reduced lubricant life, ultimately leading to bearing failure.

3.Improper Installation:
Improper installation practices can significantly impact the performance and longevity of self-aligning ball bearings. Incorrect mounting clearances, improper shaft and housing fits, and inadequate preload or interference fits can result in uneven loading, misalignment, and premature failure of the bearing. Insufficient mounting clearances can lead to preload or interference, causing excessive internal stresses and reduced bearing clearance, while excessive clearance can result in excessive vibration, noise, and reduced bearing life.

4.Insufficient Lubrication:
Proper lubrication is essential for the reliable operation and longevity of self-aligning ball bearings. Insufficient lubrication or the use of improper lubricants can result in increased friction, heat generation, and wear within the bearing. Inadequate lubrication leads to metal-to-metal contact between the rolling elements and raceways, causing abrasive wear, surface damage, and premature fatigue failure. Additionally, insufficient lubrication can result in the formation of frictional heat spots, leading to thermal damage and accelerated wear of bearing components.

5.Contamination:
Contamination of the bearing lubricant with dirt, moisture, or foreign particles can significantly impact the performance and reliability of self-aligning ball bearings. Contaminants can cause abrasive wear of bearing surfaces, corrosion of bearing components, and degradation of lubricant properties, leading to increased friction, heat generation, and premature failure. Additionally, contaminants can contribute to the formation of lubricant emulsions, sludge, and deposits, further compromising bearing performance and reliability.

6.Corrosion:
Exposure to corrosive environments, such as high humidity, acidic or alkaline solutions, and chemical contaminants, can lead to corrosion of bearing components in self-aligning ball bearings. Corrosion causes surface pitting, etching, or rusting of bearing surfaces, leading to reduced load-carrying capacity, increased friction, and premature failure. Corrosive attack can also weaken bearing components, resulting in reduced fatigue strength and structural integrity, ultimately leading to catastrophic failure of the bearing.

7.Overheating:
Excessive heat generation within the bearing due to factors such as high-speed operation, inadequate lubrication, or excessive preload can lead to thermal damage and premature failure of self-aligning ball bearings. Overheating can cause thermal expansion of bearing components, loss of lubricant viscosity, and oxidation of lubricant additives, leading to increased friction, wear, and degradation of bearing surfaces. Additionally, overheating can result in softening or melting of bearing cages, causing misalignment, binding, or seizure of bearing components.

8.Fatigue:
Prolonged cyclic loading and stress concentrations within self-aligning ball bearings can lead to fatigue failure of bearing components. Fatigue failure is characterized by the initiation and propagation of cracks in the raceways, rolling elements, or cages, eventually resulting in catastrophic failure of the bearing. Factors such as alternating loads, insufficient lubrication, surface defects, and inadequate bearing clearance can contribute to fatigue failure by promoting crack initiation and propagation, ultimately leading to reduced bearing life and premature failure.

9.Shock and Impact Loads:
Exposure to sudden shock loads or impact forces beyond the bearing's rated capacity can cause localized stress concentrations and deformation of bearing components. Shock and impact loads can lead to plastic deformation, brinelling, or fracture of bearing surfaces, resulting in reduced bearing life and potential failure. Additionally, shock and impact loads can cause misalignment, bearing cage damage, or roller skewing, further compromising bearing performance and reliability.

10.Poor Maintenance Practices:
Inadequate maintenance practices, such as infrequent lubrication, improper handling, and neglecting to monitor bearing condition and performance, can significantly impact the reliability and longevity of self-aligning ball bearings. Poor maintenance practices can result in increased friction, wear, and degradation of bearing surfaces, leading to reduced performance and premature failure. Regular inspection, lubrication, and monitoring of bearing condition are essential to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into costly failures.

Self-aligning Ball Bearings (reduced friction, vibration, and noise)

Self-aligning ball bearings have two structures: cylindrical bore and tapered bore. The cage is made of steel plate, synthetic resin, etc. Its characteristic is that the outer ring raceway is spherical, with self-alignment, which can compensate the errors caused by misalignment and shaft deflection, but the relative inclination of the inner and outer rings should not exceed 3 degrees.

0