How to extend the life of a white metal bearing
Service is key to optimising a bearing’s potential and preventing bearing failure. We offer a tailor-made structured maintenance programme to ensure reliable service and maintenance in the quickest and most convenient time. We can help you provide effective measures for the trouble-free running of any bearing installation.
Our bearing repair experts have put together their five top tips for extending the life of a hydrodynamic bearing.
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Regular maintenance checks to a hydrodynamic bearing may seem like an obvious answer, but keeping a check on the bearing components and ensuring that they are operating correctly is key. A suitably qualified engineer or suitably qualified personnel (SQEP) should complete the checks to ensure that the condition of the components is suitable for operation. This can include checking for potential issues, component condition, oil leaks and clearances. Each component should be cleaned and reassembled in accordance with the manufacturer’s engineering drawing.
Oil sampling should be completed regularly to check that the condition of the oil is suitable for operation. The sample will provide an advanced indication of potential wear or problems to the components if the oil is no longer suitable. Depending on the type of hydrodynamic bearing, oil change time frames will be specified within the operation and maintenance instructions (OMI), for example every 10,000 hours of operation. A maintenance engineer can conduct this operation and should complete regular oil sampling (around every three months depending on specification) to ensure adequate lubrication of the bearing.
It is important to monitor the temperature of the bearing in order to protect all of the bearing components. An increase in temperature can be due to a number of reasons such as bearing overload, loss of oil, oil contamination or loss of cooling which can be due to broken pipework, blockages or a leak. Visual temperature monitoring indicators can be retrofitted to a bearing using resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) with alarm and trip settings. Contact us if you would like to find out more about temperature monitoring.
It is extremely important that spare or replacement parts for a hydrodynamic bearing are sourced from a reputable and experienced manufacturer with knowledge of the product. Bearings rely on strict tolerances in order to operate without any vibration which could cause damage to the shaft line. A bearing will become damaged over time if the measurements of a part are slightly out, which will create further problems as well as added cost. Quality standards of a manufacturer such as BS EN ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 should be checked prior to order.
Correctly diagnosing a hydrodynamic bearing as soon as a problem occurs is extremely important to ensure the future life of the bearing. Due to the complexity of the bearing operation, guessing the problem can cause further damage. A quick diagnosis can be determined by an experienced engineer with bearing product knowledge. Send us a photo of your bearing with details of the problem using our form at the bottom of the page. We have a team of service engineers all of over the world ready to help.