Bearing Isolators with Chris and Woody
One of the major reasons of bearing failure is the operating conditions of the machine. That’s why bearing isolators are used to keep the bearing separate from the external environment. It is a type of seal that helps keep bearing and the oil free from contamination. There are several different types of bearing isolators. The major categories are contacting or mechanical—which have been used for rotating equipment for a long time—and non-contacting seals that are used for dynamic purposes and consistent performance. The latter type has a long life because those are not making contact with the equipment.
In this episode, we covered:
- An overview of Bearing Isolators
- The types of bearing isolators
- Other factors you need to focus on aside from analysis
- And much more!
There has been quite an evolution in the industry when it comes to non-contacting seals to overcome the shortcomings to keep the contaminants out of the seal body and bearing oil. These work better when the operating conditions change and adjust to allow the bearing to breathe under. The mechanical seals result into a lot of failures because they are always adding complexity and alteration to the configuration of the system. With non-contacting seals, you are able to use the system’s own energy to keep the impurities out of the equipment. It uses a systematic approach which is better for the long-term results.
It is essential to have pure and right lubricant at the right time because it effects the health of your asset. You have to make sure that the samples that you are taking have consistent viscosity and other variables aren’t changing. It helps determine the condition of the oil and you can change it just at the right time before it results into bearing failure. So, all of these efforts are being made to keep the oil clean and it is worth it if you are achieving your goals for the equipment you have in facilities.
It is also easier to determine a functioning failure of you are suing a shaft seal because the failure will only occur when the seal is no longer working. Its main purpose is to keep the contaminants out and hold the lubricant in and the only way that component can fail is when it’s no longer working and the seal is broken. Seals are just a small device that help you improve your reliability program. For these to really work and provide you real-time value, your baselines need to be good. If you are not doing everything else right that needs to be done, investing in bearing isolators would be a waste of time and money.
You have to focus on more than just analysis and make sure that you have all the necessary things such as RCM, Predictive maintenance, and all the other tools in place. Sometimes, you have to upgrade your system design to make bearing isolators work better. You can bring in the consultants as well to give you insights about your current system level. You will still need training, resources, and a planned procedure implementation because seals will be adding to your current reliability and maintenance practices.
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