Understanding Bearing Failures

A case study of a nuclear plant recently experiencing a significant equipment failure on a large pump due to the introduction of foreign material into the lube oil system. The equipment did not have any form of filtration installed but just a rough strainer in the reservoir.

Prior to this event, the primary PdM technologies in use consisted of surface-mounted accelerometers, thermography and oil analysis. Vibration data was somewhat useful during the event. However, oil analysis was the main technology utilized to identify the problem. 

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