Evaluating structural integrity

Paul Boughton

MISTRAS Group Limited has introduced a portfolio of services and monitoring solutions to specifically assess the condition of rotating and reciprocating low-speed bearings (LSB) for high value capital plants and machinery.

At the core of the LSB solutions portfolio is MISTRAS’ LSB-PAC system – a condition monitoring and assessment system that employs a proven inspection methodology and advanced diagnostics to rapidly assess the condition of low-speed bearings during normal operation.

Effective at assessing the condition of slow rotational speed bearings down to less than one revolution per minute (RPM), the LSB-PAC system assesses bearings with fluctuating load conditions or when a breakdown would have a significant impact on production or operational efficiencies.

A variety of bearing defects such as corrosion of tracks or balls (emission from corrosion product break-up), insufficient lubricant (emission from surface fretting), cracking or plastic deformation of bearing material (balls, track and cage), crushing and fracture of debris in the bearing, are all target areas of focus for the LSB-PAC system.

“While traditional techniques are routinely used to analyse high speed bearings, these methods prove much less effective and more difficult to collect meaningful data for bearings rotating at less than 100rpm,” said Tim Bradshaw, General Manager, MISTRAS Group UK Operations. “Our assessment methods are also cost saving, by preventing and reducing unplanned stoppages in addition to catastrophic bearing failures, and by allowing maintenance to be planned during low-peak periods.”

Low-speed rotating or reciprocating bearing signatures are produced by the LSB-PAC after a few dozen assessment cycles. Further, a more detailed analysis would involve the identification and elimination of extraneous noise, grading the severity of the bearing signature, and identifying any features that may indicate the root cause of the problem. Multi-level reporting options provide tailored reports meeting customer requirements, including grading reports and time signatures.


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