What is Bearing Creep and How to Avoid It

Bearings are great at preventing friction related damage to the products they’re utilized in. Bearings aren’t perfect though, they can fail. One of the most common causes for bearing failure is a phenomenon called creep. If unmanaged, it can reduce the lifespan of bearings and harm the equipment or components that bearings are utilized with.

What Exactly Is Creep?

The phenomenon known as creep occurs when a bearing’s surfaces start to slide. A bearing has multiple surfaces, including an inner and outer ring. Creep sets in when one of these multiple surfaces begins to slide. The inner ring of a standard ball bearing is the rotating portion that is visible to the shaft. The larger ring that is situated on the side of the balls opposite the balls is known as the outer ring. The outer ring won’t make contact with the shaft. This leads to creep affecting the inner ring more commonly than the outer ring.

The Consequences of Creep

Being complacent with creep is a grave error. Bearings are used to limit the motion of moving parts and lower friction. They are typically found in machinery and other pieces of industrial gear. The machine or piece of equipment may malfunction if a bearing fails. While machines and equipment are often more expensive than bearings, the opposite is true for bearings.

Tips for Avoiding Creep

By selecting high-quality bearings, you can avoid creep. High-quality bearings are made with top-notch components and skilled craftsmanship. They therefore have a lower failure rate than inferior bearings. High-quality bearings will cost more, but they are well worth the extra money.

Additionally, lubrication can prevent creep in bearings. The chance of creep can be reduced by lubricating a bearing’s rings lightly. When the rings are lubricated, they will be subjected to less physical stress, which lowers the chance of creep.

Get the proper size in addition to selecting high-quality bearings. Bearings that are mounted on shafts must fit snugly around those shafts. A bearing that is too large for a shaft may fit loosely around it. Make sure the bearings are the right size to prevent creep.

Final Thoughts

Different things can go wrong with bearings but creep will most likely be the cause. Creep will cause a bearing to fail if either the inner or outer ring slips. By selecting high-quality bearings in the appropriate sizes and lubricating them, you can avoid creep.