When 12V Linear Actuator Bearings Fail – A Look at Brinelling and Smearing

Without proper care, your linear electric actuator is bound to fail before it’s time. In order to prevent this from happening, knowing which issues to look for will help prolong the life of your linear electric actuators. Here’s a rundown of what brinelling and smearing are, as well as what they can do to your systems.

What Is Brinelling?

A brinell is also known as an indentation. You’ll find a few major causes at the heart of brinelling in linear electric actuators. The cause may be due to your 12v linear electric actuators supporting a load it’s not designed to load. You may have a bearing with foreign particles in it or the root of the cause may be improper mounting.

The Types of Brinelling in 12V Actuators

Two types of brinelling can affect your bearings. The first type of brinelling is known as ‘true brinelling’. This happens when a bearing is supporting too much load. If this happens, you may start to see small indentations.

The other type of brinelling is ‘false brinelling’. This occurs when the indentations in the bearings of your linear electric actuator are not caused by force but by vibration. The marks that make a ‘false brinelling’ pattern look similar to the ones that cause ‘true brinelling’. The solutions for either are a bit different.

There are a few simple solutions that can prevent these types of brinelling beforehand, but if they’ve already occurred, there isn’t much that can be done. To prevent ‘true brinelling’ when there is risk of an excess load, check to be sure your bearings are capable of handling the weight that they will be put under. For ‘false brinelling’ situations that have occurred because of vibration, keeping everything well lubricated will go a long way in ensuring this doesn’t happen.

The other type of brinelling that can be caused by particles takes the same solution – prevention. That means if you keep your linear electric actuators well lubricated and check all components, you’ll lessen the likelihood of this happening.

What Is Smearing in A 12V Linear Actuator

Smearing on a linear electric actuators’ bearing looks like it sounds, like a smear. There are a number of reason this could be happening, and when it occurs in different places on the bearing, it means different things. This happens when the bearing material is shifted from one place to another, which is why it looks the way it does. Once it does happen, the entire electric linear actuator system weakens and may be susceptible to more cracking.

When Smearing Occurs

There are a number of reasons smearing can happen to linear electric actuators. You may be putting a large amount of stress on your bearings. You also may find that you haven’t lubricated the linear electric actuator well enough. There are times when the bearings experience acceleration that they can’t react to fast enough, causing the smearing.

There are many causes of smearing in linear electric actuators’ bearings, and, again, proper care and maintenance will go a long way in preventing this from happening. If you have witnessed this issue on your linear electric actuators, the system will perform inefficiently until it has completely failed, which will likely be before its expected lifespan.

These are just a few of the issues that can occur with bearings. If you have opted for a bearing system in your linear electric actuators, follow the specs that your manufacturer has provided. If you require linear electric actuators with a higher load capacity, seek one out. It’ll cost less than completely losing all of your progress on a system that’s bound to fail.

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