Plant & Works Engineering
The answer to this month’s trouble shooter is provided by Henkel. Q: What are the options for stopping bearing spinout?
Published:  09 February, 2018

A: By the nature of what they do, bearings are prone to spinning within their housings. This action inevitably causes damage, regardless of the type of fit employed. Where, for example, a bearing is secured by a press fit, the actual metal-to-metal contact accounts for as little as 30% of the total surface of the joint. Small micro-movements at the joint interface can then produce particles which abrade and reduce the contact surface even more.

In the event of bearing spinout, all remedial action will incur downtime and cost to some degree. Depending on the extent of damage a new housing or bearing may be required and the lead time to obtain the component may also need to be factored in. Another option is to machine and sleeve the housing but that isn’t a quick or cheap fix either.

A good method of salvaging the worn components is to use an anaerobic adhesive, also known as a retaining compound, to bond the existing bearing into its housing. Any gaps between the two are immediately filled by the adhesive which readily cures between the metal-to-metal surfaces. The result is the joint strength of an interference-fitted bearing.

The gold standard, however, is to prevent bearing spinout pro-actively by applying a retaining compound to any cylindrical assembly at the start of its working life. An adhesive can be used on its own or in combination with traditional assembly methods. It forms a strong, high-precision assembly that allows higher loads to be transmitted and, as any air space between the bearing and housing is effectively sealed, prevents corrosion too.