More Causes and Remedies of Fluid Film Bearing Failures

Kingsbury's very popular brochure, "General Guide To Hydrodynamic Bearings," covers the background and invention of the tilting pad fluid film bearing, the types of fluid film bearings in common use and a comprehensive section on the diagnosis and troubleshooting of bearing problems. This booklet provides a very good overview of bearing failure modes, but due to size constraints, it cannot cover all known issues. This current page therefore includes information about other types of bearing failures and serves as an addendum to the HB brochure.

Any machinery engineers viewing this page or the companion PDF who do not find information concerning the issues that they are encountering in their own test stands or field applications are encouraged to contact Kingsbury's engineering department for assistance.

Download PDF "A General Guide To The Principals, Operation and Troubleshooting of Hydrodynamic Bearings"

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Electrical Pitting Damage

  • Intermittent electrical arcing across oil film
  • Shaft or collar usually affected as well

  • Electrical pitting in journal shell
  • Defect concentrated in area of minimal oil film thickness

  • Frosting due to stray currents on shaft

  • Damage caused by welding eqt grounded to turbine casing
  • Large current sent through housing and collar

Oil Starvation

  • Leading edge of shoe shut down
  • Babbitt worn off upper corner

  • Slack side thrust bearing from CH unit
  • Oil circulator in wrong position, restricting oil flow

This is just a sampling of problems with fluid film bearings that can occur when proper installation and maintenance procedures are not followed. To discuss your particular issues, please contact Kingsbury's engineering department.