Two Minute Tips  

Bad Vibes From A Centrifugal Pump

Tim De Block | Managing Director, Fyraco Solutions

The problem: During periodic measurements on a centrifugal pump for an industrial client, we saw a significant increase in the trend value of our high-frequency vibrations.

In the vibration spectrum, we can see very clearly the presence of the outer-race frequency of the bearing (6311/C3) which is mounted in the pump. This is in combination with significant modulations of the rolling element cage.

Vibration Spectrum showing the outer-race frequency of a bearing

Vibration Spectrum showing significant modulations of the rolling element cage

The advice: Our advice to the customer was to overhaul the pump and to replace the bearings.

We asked the customer to keep the old bearings for further inspection to allow us to perform a root cause analysis.  To us, it is just as important to find the cause of a problem as it is to solve the issue.

The result: The root cause analysis showed that the bearing failure started with moisture, a primary cause of the damage.

One of the rolling elements was clearly damaged through etching.  On the damaged rolling element, we could also see that both sides of the bearing cage were damaged.

The damage on the outer race was also very significant.

Damage on the outer race of a rolling element

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About the Author

Tim De Block Managing Director, Fyraco Solutions

Tim De Block is Managing director at the office of Fyraco Solutions. A company dedicated to predictive maintenance. Fyraco Solutions helps maintenance managers, by implementing predictive maintenance, to reduce maintenance costs.

Tim lives in a small town Stabroek, Belgium. He has a wife and two children.