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Monday, 12 December 2011

How water in Gearbox Lubricant causes bearing Failure

Have you ever given thought to the severe operating environment of an industrial gearbox? Even if you have correctly lubricated the bearing, elevated temperatures, airflow and loads as often have dust and water that enter through breathers and failing seals often take their toll! Water in the gearbox lubricant is perhaps the most common cause of bearing failure, so today we’re going to examine how water in Gearbox lubricant causes bearing failure.

We all know that water is harmful to machinery in general, and bearings in particular. As little as 500ppm of water in gearbox oil can damage machine surfaces directly, through a sequence of events and often with a variety of helpers. In many cases, the most severe damage is as a result of secondary causes. For instance, water may initially lead to premature oxidation of the base oil. When the oxides combine with more water, a corrosive acidic fluid environment exists.