Field Investigation Of Bearing Housing Oil Cleanliness
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The service life of rolling element bearing in centrifugal chemical process pumps is an issue of increasing concern. A key factor influencing bearing service life is the condition of the bearing lubricant. Several industrial users of process pumps participated in a survey of centrifugal pumps to determine the levels of water and particulate contamination in the bearing housing lubricating oil. More than 150 samples were analyzed, including new oil along with oil from operating and stand-by pumps. High levels of debris contamination were found in all size ranges of particulates. Water contamination was a much smaller problem than previously assumed. An overall conclusion is that current contamination control methods for non-recirculating oil bath rolling bearing element lubrication systems are not effective.
Adams, William V.; Erickson, R. Barry; Needelman, Bill; Smith, Michael D. (1996). Field Investigation Of Bearing Housing Oil Cleanliness. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from