The 4 Stages of Failure
Bearing failure occurs in 4 distinct stages— the higher the stage, the less likely you will be able to revive it. However, by using the proper tools, you can easily identify the early stages of failure and remedy the situation.
Stage 1: Friction causes the bearing to emit a 250 to 350 kilohertz (KHz) frequency. This is the earliest detectable point using vibration analysis.
Stage 2: A 500 to 2000 hertz signal rings.
Stage 3: At the onset of the third stage, the harmonics of the fundamental frequency are very apparent. Defects in the races are now obvious and visible on vibration analysis of the noise signal. At this point, there is also a significant temperature increase.
Stage 4: During the fourth stage, there is very high vibration. The fundamental frequency and harmonics begin to decrease as the random ultrasonic noise is boosted. Temperatures will skyrocket as the bearing self-destructs.