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View Full Version : Can I safely overspeed a Baldor motor?



loesch
10-29-2006, 04:04 PM
Rather having to continuous change belts on my 16" floor model Jet drill press, I purchased a new 1HP/240v/3-phase Baldor motor ($75 on ebay). It's inverter rated and reversable. To power it, I got a new Teco VFD from driveswarehouse. The VFD can be programmed up to 200Hz (default is 60Hz), which pushes the motor from it's rated 1780 RPM to around 5900 RPM. My question is how much faster can one safely run a good (Baldor) ball-bearing motor. Could I push it to 3000 RPM (~100Hz) since a drill press is typically less than an hour per job? The motor is a TEFC so heating should only be a problem at the really low RPMs. Any help would be appreciated.

Al_The_Man
10-29-2006, 04:29 PM
If its vector rated then you probabally will be OK to go up to 5000+, I usually run non-vector motors up to 3600rpm. But a call to your local Baldor rep. should clarify it.
You should be able to go to 3600 with no problem.
Al.

Geof
10-29-2006, 04:45 PM
Do it the bushman's way;:D buy a second motor as a spare and run the first one up to the top speed whenever you need it.

NC Cams
10-29-2006, 05:21 PM
Whatever speed you run at, you'll cut service life of the motor bearings by a factor that EASILY EXCEEDS the inverse of the ratio of the new speed versus the previous rated speed.

Reason: the bearings will run at a much higher velocity and thus tend to heat up the grease therein much more. Thus, grease life can/will be drastically shortened.

Keep in mind that whatever factory imbalance tolerance that is allowed, will greatly be amplified by overspeeding. Thus, whatever was "tolerable" before, could become intolerable now. Result: drastically shortened life potential.

You also won't know if the motor is able to cool itself properly at the higher speed potential. Elevated temps geometrically tend to cut life expectancies.

A well epoxied armature should not toss windings. However, overheat one and run it DRASTIALLY above the rated speed, you could toss windings, balance weights or even other components that are not speed rated for the new ultraspeed.

The ultimate speed potential of the bearings is dependant on the size of the bearing. Simply specifying 'ball bearing' doesn't assure that the speed of the bearing can arbitrarily be doubled. This is especially true if the armature runs thru a range where it could go into an imbalance due to bizarre magnetic vectoring issues that can develop (saw it happen).

Geof's method is as good as any.

Unless someone has already run the same motor you're using at the speeds/loads you're going to encounter, a "generic" yes/no or maybe answer to the viability of the planned overspeeding effort is not something that I personally would count on.

Al_The_Man
10-29-2006, 05:42 PM
Although vector rated motors aready anticipate the use of overspeed as in VFD use etc and Baldor should be able to give this rated rpm, The nameplate speed is the BASE speed which is the rpm at 60hz, Baldor sell them as variable speed and many of their Vector 4 pole motors (1745rpm) are rated up to 0-133hz which is close to 4000rpm.
Al.

JRaef
10-30-2006, 01:46 AM
Whatever speed you run at, you'll cut service life of the motor bearings by a factor that EASILY EXCEEDS the inverse of the ratio of the new speed versus the previous rated speed.

Reason: the bearings will run at a much higher velocity and thus tend to heat up the grease therein much more. Thus, grease life can/will be drastically shortened. ... balanced snipped

While I don't dispute this issue, keep in mind that for a motor manufacturer it makes no sense to have a different bearing system for a 4 pole (1725 RPM) motor and a 2 pole (3550 RPM) motor, so they use bearings rated for the higher speed. This is of course not an absolute truth, especially when you get over 100HP, but it is about 99% for small to mid sized motors. So that means that most 1725 RPM AC motors can be run at 120Hz as far as the bearings go.

Something else important to consider however is torque. As you raise the frequency you cannot keep raising the voltage beyond your input voltage, so what happens is that your V/Hz ratio no longer remains constant. The V/Hz ratio is responsible for creating torque in the motor, so as the ratio diminishes, so does the torque output, at a non-linear rate. This means that at 90Hz you are left with about 67% FLT at the shaft. Not only that, but the slip changes and cooling efficiency drops as well, exposing the motor windings to additional thermal stress.

So even though the bearings may be capable of it, you should never operate a 60Hz AC motor above 90Hz (or 50Hz motor above 75Hz) without consulting the manufacturer first.

NC Cams
10-30-2006, 10:18 AM
The SPEED factor is not the issue of concern as you run a bearing, it is a combination of running accuracies and heat that goes along with higher operating speeds.

Yes, the same SIZE bearing may be used for a 1750 versus a 3500 rpm motor. However, the LIFE calculation does change as you increase/decrease instantaneous loading and/or increase/decrease speed. However, should the grease be negatively affected by a higher than normal temp rise (it happens regularly), the grease fails and the bearing does a like nose dive shortly thereafter.

How dramatic is the affect of heat? For every 10 deg rise about 200 Deg F for mineral based grease, you can figure on cutting grease life in HALF. Thus, should temp get to 220 or 230 (not THAT hot in some folks minds), your grease life is now about 1/4th that you'd normally see at a more mundane temp.

If you run some load life calcs, you can see that life is inversely proportional to speed and varies to a much greater degree as you change load up or down. Grease life issues, however, can make load/life calcs totally irrelevant.

From my bearing engineering days, I recall that the guys who did the motor bearings for the various tool suppliers were regularly, no constantly, evaluating new combinations of preload, fits, clearances, greases and grease fills. This iterative loop was reduplicated when they changed speeds and/or load conditions of the motors.

All sorts of weird things developed when they changed something - sometimes the bearings were unphased and other times they had nighmares.

Suffice it to say: what may be totally satisficient for 1750rpm operation may be marginal or even DEFICIENT for 2750 or 3500 rpm use. It had something to do witht he perverse nature of inanimate objects.

The bearings will tolerate the published RPM (or even higher levels) if the "off conditions" they encounter are slim to none. Add any form of "off condition" to the mix and something that lives fine at 1750 may now give you fits at 1775. Been there, done that.

Thus, to arbitrarily say that ANY bearing in ANY motor can be run at ANY arbitrary speed is not something I'd sign up to/for. As a SWAG, yes, most bearings are CAPABLE of a certain speed potential. However, the environment the bearings are forced to survive in has more of an effect on bearing life than the design of the bearing than perhaps anything else.

SuperChuck
11-21-2006, 05:58 PM
I do not have the details in front of me to post, but a very simple way to find out the operating ranges of motors is to look at the NEMA standards.

In order to be called an "Inverter Duty" motor, there are certain torque, speed and cooling requirements in order for the motor to wear that badge. Depending on the poles of the motor, as mentioned before, I think there is a speed factor of 2.

One thing to realize is that torque plateaus and then begins to decline at higher RPM's and despite the ability of the VFD to control torque and boost it to some extent, the motor HP wil remain about the same. Motor HP is dependant on RPM, and Torque goes down with speed. There is a chance that the motor could bog down at higher speeds unless you allow for more HP.

If the motor is overrated (5 hp in a 3 hp application) and you are able to safely drive it at 120 Hz(double speed) based on the NEMA standards, then you will need the additional HP at higher RPM.

There's no magic bullet or free ride, when you overdrive the speed, you need more reserve HP. The same as if you changed the pulley ratios or gearing to get a speed increase. Whether its a mechanical advantage or an electronic one, there is some tradeoff.

The beauty of the VFD in my experience has not been to overdrive the frequency, but to improve the low end and starting torque, while varying the speed. In my application, we are using 350 HP NEMA design C motors on VFD's to allow us to start high inertia loads and speed them up within the standard operating range of the motors. This allowed the removal of slip clutches and other mechanical methods of starting.


Instead of overdriving the motor, take a larger than rated inverter duty motor, change the pully ratios of the press to allow for 60 hz(safe range for the motor) to now operate the equipment at the desired top speed(RPM). When you do not need the RPM, the inverter duty motor is fine running at 30 hz all day long, because its designed to operate under those conditions.

SC

petek
04-20-2007, 10:49 PM
what hp are you using i have a couple of baldor mtrs rated for 6000 rpm for small $$$
Pete

in2steam
04-21-2007, 07:03 AM
Whatever speed you run at, you'll cut service life of the motor bearings by a factor that EASILY EXCEEDS the inverse of the ratio of the new speed versus the previous rated speed.

Reason: the bearings will run at a much higher velocity and thus tend to heat up the grease therein much more. Thus, grease life can/will be drastically shortened.

Keep in mind that whatever factory imbalance tolerance that is allowed, will greatly be amplified by overspeeding. Thus, whatever was "tolerable" before, could become intolerable now. Result: drastically shortened life potential.

You also won't know if the motor is able to cool itself properly at the higher speed potential. Elevated temps geometrically tend to cut life expectancies.

A well epoxied armature should not toss windings. However, overheat one and run it DRASTIALLY above the rated speed, you could toss windings, balance weights or even other components that are not speed rated for the new ultraspeed.

The ultimate speed potential of the bearings is dependant on the size of the bearing. Simply specifying 'ball bearing' doesn't assure that the speed of the bearing can arbitrarily be doubled. This is especially true if the armature runs thru a range where it could go into an imbalance due to bizarre magnetic vectoring issues that can develop (saw it happen).

Geof's method is as good as any.

Unless someone has already run the same motor you're using at the speeds/loads you're going to encounter, a "generic" yes/no or maybe answer to the viability of the planned overspeeding effort is not something that I personally would count on.
Are you talking about a dc motor or ac, ac induction rotors are laminated, they don't have armature coils to toss, they normaly have a aluminum end capped with fins onto it each end(no epoxy), its possible for them to become unlaminated from overheating, but I have never seen it. More likley they will shift or warp hitting the stator coil lams, this can happen from both locked rotor for excsive times and over speeding from bad bearings. Balancing is done on that end plate, typicaly if needs to be balanced they remove wieght via drilling not adding, tweaking the end casting can also happen dependant upon design as some have fins that stick out away from the lams.
Also most motors with ball bearings will have 5k rpm top end unless specially fitted, thats your typical 62xx series bearings which almost everyone uses.
Loesch
Friction and windage from the fan on the back end of that motor will cut its ablity to overspeed quite a bit, I would be impressed if you got 120 Hz on one HP, its entirely possible to go higher but the motor more then likely just won't.

At low RPM the motor will become hotter then normal, baldor seemst to better here then most others, you will have to call them and find out but I would that an inverted rated insulation motor should be able to handle 25Hz for cont. duty at FLA(full load amps) and less Hz for shorter periods. Just remember you loose torque with speed loss and and it flat lines above namplate speed the motor will preform the best at or near namplate speed. So boring that big hole won't be as easy with the drive only putting out 15Hz, if geared or belted correctly it should not be a problem. Even when you go to vector/sensorless control, the gains in torque are still not outstanding when using a regular motor.


chris

petek
04-21-2007, 08:50 AM
problem is if its not rated for it it means it hasn't been balanced for it and probably the bearings are not as good as in a motor that has a higher rated rpm. Alot of motors are not rated for vfd use most of which can still be used with a vfd but usually at nothing greater than a 20:1 speed range (standard 4 pole motor) you need a constant torque motor to be able to run a motor slower than 20:1 of rated name plate speed or you run the risk of overheating the motor. when you run a motor faster than name plate rpm the torque curve starts to drop. In the machining world (spindle) thats ok. ex. on a milling machine when you have a face cutter in (large diam.) your running the spindle slower probably in the optimal torque range of the motor (less than name plate but greater than 20:1) when your cutting with a 1/4 in end mill in alum. you have the spindle cranked W.O.T. but theres no real load on it, so you don't need the torquo motor mass is enought to over come the load
20:1 is the standard rating for a vfd rated motor
constant torque motor are usually 1000:1
vector motors (blower cooled)are usually 1000:1 and some are 2000:1
this pertains to name plate rpm and less
all motor loose torque going faster than name plate
Pete

in2steam
04-21-2007, 09:49 AM
I won't say that you are wrong, but when I worked at Lesson, all the rotors were balanced on the same machines, they used the same bearings, and for the most part even used the same small parts. So to say that the motor is balance for one speed vs another is a farce, in reality many 2 and 4 pole motors use the same rotor, they just had more poles in the stator and were rated for HP acordingly. Manufacturing something like a motor is done on a mass scale, you use what you can common between them, when the girls on the build line did that on the 48 & 56 frame motors they had about a 12 drawer bulk bin, thats all they needed.

I have no idea what you are talking about with the speed ratio thing 20:1 in relation to what? When you say a constant torque motor, are you talking about a AC servos? thats like comparing apples to watermelons, they are both round and juice and thats about it? Your application is either constant torque like in a mill or belt system or constant HP which is on processes like involute pumps for hydraulics. The motor can be designed to suit that but they are not stuck in that use by an means. The drive would be more likely to be consdiered a CP or CH style, most now are both, typipcally the more you pay the better it is esp at vectoring. Vectoring is well suited to AC servos, as they have an armature, you have a greater control of torque over a broader speed range, but again the motors and drives are entirely different.

A true "vector" 3 phase motor in the higher horsepower range cost as much as some peoples homes, and have encoders, and carefully matched drives which are tuned to that motor. I don't know about AC servos, but AC 3 phase motors flat line there torque at or above name plate, it does not drop, but it may seem like it and out near the breakdown area it very well may drop. 3 phase motors need a change in votlage for more torque at a given frequency, the drives can fool the motor to a ceratin extent, esp on the lower then nameplate area(vectoring and torque boost), but higher you can only gain so much before begin to saturate the motor.

chris

petek
04-21-2007, 11:34 AM
lesson is not baldor or marathon. Its a good motor but not generally used or considered industrial. I see lesson on home owner woodworking and air compressor stuff. I've not seen or used it industrially since ac is taken over dc varial speed market. 10 or 15 years ago we used alot of lesson dc permanent magnet motors 5 hp and less.

petek
04-21-2007, 12:00 PM
20:1 refers to name plate rpm. if a motor is rated @ 1750 20:1 would be
1750/20=86 or 60hz/20=3hz. a standard inverter duty motor could be run @ 3hz without fear of over heating,drive in v/hz mode. A constant torque rated motor 1000:1 like marathons blackmax line can be run at 60hz/1000 =.06hz
non blower cooled without overheating the motor(drive set up in sensorless vector with much better lowend torque output). Problem is running a motor this slow can't be done (smoothly)with out encoder feedback. open loop (without encoder)vector differs from drive to drive. the feedback comes from the motor poles, usually 4, which becomes the feedback resolution. best open loop or sensorless vector drive that i've used is allen bradley's powerflex 40.
Its not like the old days any more true vector motors and drives are not custom pkges costing as much as house.but expensive compared to non vector. any bodies 10hp vector motor (230/460 vac) will work with anybodies 10hp 230 or 460 vac vector drive with any bodies 1024pls ecoder. some better than others

in2steam
04-21-2007, 12:10 PM
lesson is not baldor or marathon. Its a good motor but not generally used or considered industrial. I see lesson on home owner woodworking and air compressor stuff. I've not seen or used it industrially since ac is taken over dc varial speed market. 10 or 15 years ago we used alot of lesson dc permanent magnet motors 5 hp and less.

Leeson is marathon, and has been since 2000, I help test the whole series of motors that closed my plant and another.

I have over a dozen I can think of right now used in my current industry, leeson specialized in the special doing it cheap. Its a truly a case of the used be, I won't argue that, the older motors are good its the new ones that suck. Of course that comes from someone who was layed off with no hope of return so I am biased, my personal favorite is baldor for most apps, they are just very expensive. Marathon is junk, always has been, again my opinion, I tore apart alot of competitors motors for evaul, baldor were always better then leeson.

I hope I was not to harsh in the last post I someone come in and say that I had to work an extra 6 hours today....
chris

HuFlungDung
04-21-2007, 12:23 PM
One of the most annoying things about running a 1725 rpm motor at higher speeds can be the fan noise. Since the slower motor has a fan designed for its nameplate rpm, it can get noisy and loud when running significantly overspeed. The fan might even throw a fin if it is one of those cheap stamped aluminum fin types.

On a drill press, you likely will not get to the point of an overheating problem since the operation is intermittent. The bearings in the lower rpm motors may be the sealed type, and these seals can generate a fair bit of heat. Now, the manufacturer may not care so long as the motor makes it through warranty. But, chances are that a inverter rated motor may have shielded bearings, or grease labyrinth provision to keep the grease in the bearing without a seal rubbing on anything.

That being said, the allowable temperature rise of the motor is usually quite a bit hotter than you might typically find it running at anyway. Overheating bearings in an electric motor are largely a matter of proper assembly and machining of the endbells. Our local motor rewinder always runs in a big motor after an overhaul and carefully checks the endbells for rate of heat rise.

petek
04-21-2007, 12:48 PM
I found a 2hp 7000 rpm 130 vdc motor on surpluscenter.com originally used on tred mills for like 25.00 I bought a cheep dc drive for under 100.00 put it on my drill press with the belts set for the lowest gearing. the drive only puts out 90 vdc and at whide open throttle it alittle loud but has plenty of power
Pete

petek
04-21-2007, 12:56 PM
Leeson is marathon, and has been since 2000, I help test the whole series of motors that closed my plant and another.

I have over a dozen I can think of right now used in my current industry, leeson specialized in the special doing it cheap. Its a truly a case of the used be, I won't argue that, the older motors are good its the new ones that suck. Of course that comes from someone who was layed off with no hope of return so I am biased, my personal favorite is baldor for most apps, they are just very expensive. Marathon is junk, always has been, again my opinion, I tore apart alot of competitors motors for evaul, baldor were always better then leeson.

I hope I was not to harsh in the last post I someone come in and say that I had to work an extra 6 hours today....
chris
yeah I know my local marathon guy isn't pushing the lesson line any more. I've probably used 1/2 million bucks worth of marothon blackmax and blue max in the last 5years.baldor had some real assembly issues about 5 or so years ago so i switched to marathon. you said it your self lesson specializes in doing it cheap they have there nitch but its not in the vfd market

petek
04-21-2007, 01:04 PM
Hey I,m doing a 4 1/2" extruder over now and the customer wants a 200hp
ac vecter motor and drive on it as soon as I get my pricing I'll let you know what it costs

in2steam
04-21-2007, 02:40 PM
Hey I,m doing a 4 1/2" extruder over now and the customer wants a 200hp
ac vecter motor and drive on it as soon as I get my pricing I'll let you know what it costs

Actually I was talking railroad apps, in the 750 HP range.
I was an engineering test tech for them, I did mostly stuff under 50 HP for testing on dynes. I did alot of testing for UL CSA and CE requirements, I also did alot of customer testing, the thing they hired me for was to tear down motors, I did that up untill 700 HP range, those are some big motors, we had to take apart every motor that we tested on the dynes. We placed thermal couples in key(5-6) spots and watch the temp rises and thermal protection test.
Leeson was bought by regal-beloit in the fall of 2000, regal beloit is the parent of marathon. It was not a pretty picture being bought by your biggest competitor. Leeson had very strong 56 frame and 48 frames, ther 140's and 180's were also very good. Baldor and marathon also had there niches, baldor pretty much sold every grinder motor in the united states, marathon was big into appliances and heaters. Leeson did alot of motion control(small special orders real cheap) and DC work, we also sold a ton to granger under dayton. I think they were behind the game on VFD's and there use with gearboxes, alot things that they could have done, that I see baldor and emerson are doing now with matched out of the box motors and drives.


chris

in2steam
04-21-2007, 02:49 PM
One of the most annoying things about running a 1725 rpm motor at higher speeds can be the fan noise. Since the slower motor has a fan designed for its nameplate rpm, it can get noisy and loud when running significantly overspeed. The fan might even throw a fin if it is one of those cheap stamped aluminum fin types.

On a drill press, you likely will not get to the point of an overheating problem since the operation is intermittent. The bearings in the lower rpm motors may be the sealed type, and these seals can generate a fair bit of heat. Now, the manufacturer may not care so long as the motor makes it through warranty. But, chances are that a inverter rated motor may have shielded bearings, or grease labyrinth provision to keep the grease in the bearing without a seal rubbing on anything.

That being said, the allowable temperature rise of the motor is usually quite a bit hotter than you might typically find it running at anyway. Overheating bearings in an electric motor are largely a matter of proper assembly and machining of the endbells. Our local motor rewinder always runs in a big motor after an overhaul and carefully checks the endbells for rate of heat rise.
You 'could' take the fan off, esp if you only use for a few mintues, the extra power and lack of noise would be well worth it, design depandant some have internal fans also.
If the motor were to hit 150'C on the stator coils we would shut them down, that was the industry unwritten standard for frying the insulation.

ON a 1 HP motor I would imagine that there only closed race(the plastic kind) or shielded typically if its a general purpose motor, sealed bearings decrease the nameplate HP alot, unless special ordered, and are ton of money. Open race are real easy to spot 9-10 times they have 2 bolts on the endbell retaining the bearing, typical on hydraulic pump motors with extended shafts
or tangs. I used to tell people ignore the grease zerk as alot times the customers at least thru leeson would order a grease zerk for a closed race bearing? alot good that did we got a lot of RMA's for bearings not recieveing grease, well duh....
chris


chris

Warpspeed
06-26-2007, 10:57 PM
I suggest you pop the bearings out of your motor and read the actual bearing number. Then look up the speed rating for that particular bearing from the bearing manufacturer. Their speed ratings are fairly conservative and are for continuous duty.

Speed rating may be a surprise ! It will depend mainly on the size and number of balls fitted to the bearing. High speed bearings have larger and fewer balls. High load bearings have more but much smaller balls. (more points of contact on the loaded side of the bearing).

I have a 15Hp two pole motor here and was expecting to find fairly slow rated bearings, because they are a fairly large size. I looked up the exact bearing number in my SKF bearing catalogue to discover the continuous maximum speed rating with grease was 5,900 rpm.

If the bearings are o/k, and they probably will be, the only other thing to worry about are the aluminium rotor bars (squirrel cage) pressed into the rotor. At some speed the whole thing will probably fly apart. But I have, for many years run different motors up to 100 - 120 Hz and never had a failure yet.

I have a 10 Hp Chinese Teco drive here myself, they are an excellent drive. It took me a full day to program it from the handbook, there are a vast selection of programmable features and options possible.

NC Cams
06-27-2007, 04:00 PM
The one area of the prior post that I take exception to is:

"the continuous maximum speed rating with grease was 5,900 rpm"

That is essentially a GROSS over simplification of the speed limiting factor of bearing applications engineering.

This is the typical RATED boiler plate "number" that assumes TOTALLY correct installation, regular grease replenishment and/or absolutely NO grease contamination and/or misalignment of the bearing. It also assumes that the RATED fatigue load (which is usually only 10% of the rated load of the bearing) is applied as well as the fact that the bearing is ramped up to speed and broken in properly EACH AND EVERY time you start to run the motor.

In my previous days as a bearing service/applications engineer, I've seen more guys get into trouble with reading bearing catalogs and NOT properly DERATING the bearings for SPEED and LOADS pursuant to the design/applications manuals. The max speed factor was one such area that burned many a user.

Why?

Because ANY "off" condition will result in a deteriouration of the load carrying capability and/or the speed rating of the bearing. Yes, the bearing MAY have a max speed rating with grease of 5900 assuming EVERYTHING else is/was perfect. However, that doesn't mean that each and every bearing of that size will/can survive at the max rated conditions if all the conditions are max'd out simutaneously.

Another little known of the speed rating factor is "grease life". The higher the speed a bearing runs at, the SHORTER the grease life. Viscous drag creates heat which breaks down the grease. Many bearings that are mildly loaded and not oversped or even run near the speed limit are hurt because the "grease life" was exceeded.

If you plan to run grease at max poosible bearing speed, you better plan on cleaning and regreasing the bearing REGULARLY and OFTEN. If you don't, do NOT be surprised if you don't get anywhere's near the rated life or speed.

Better yet, get hold of the bearing design manuals which any good bearing company can/will provide. They'll usually advise that their engineering staffs be contacted for SPECIFIC recommendations on what needs to be done to assure that bearings that see severe service live.

One number in one column of one page of the bearing manual does NOT answer ALL the questions about bearings run at/near max speed potential.

Warpspeed
06-27-2007, 06:39 PM
Well, All I can say is that the engineering team that designed the bearing in the first place probably know a lot more about all this than I do.

Quite obviously an overloaded, dirty misaligned bearing running completely dry at an extreme temperature is not going to last long at anything like its full published speed or load rating.

But the published figures are nevertheless a fairly good guide to what the bearing may be capable of, especially if you bother to read and try to understand the applications section at the front of the bearing manual.

One can only hope that the Baldor motor in question has nothing seriously wrong with its basic design or manufacture that is going to severely effect the bearings.

Common sense needs to be applied to most published "maximum safe" engineering limits. Experience only comes with time. But the engineers that set these limits in the first place are often going on many decades of accumulated practical knowledge and experience.

Personally, I would have no problem running a bearing up to its "rated safe maximum" for very brief and possibly infrequent usage in a piece of home built hobby equipment. I guess it comes down to a matter of personal philosophy.

NC Cams
06-27-2007, 08:14 PM
Some points to ponder regarding the prior comment:

"...Quite obviously an overloaded, dirty misaligned bearing running completely dry at an extreme temperature is not going to last long at anything like its full published speed or load rating..."

Re Overheating: Most motor engineers do NOT consider an operating temp of 200 to 220 deg F to be "overheated". However, for every 10 degrees you run a mineral based lubed bearing over 212 Deg F, you cut the grease life in HALF. It is not that bad for synthetics but the life does detiourate with temp none the less.

Thus, at ~220 F, you cut the life in half. At 230F, half again and at 240F, half again. Half of half of half equals about 1/8th the grease life of a bearing that runs at 180F or so which is quite substantial. I've seen engineers consider 250 deg F (Example: underhood temp of a car idler pulley or alternator can approach 400 deg F and this is "normal"). And the same engineers were surprised when a "normally" loaded bearing couldn't/wouldn't live under these "normal" 250+F conditions.

Re Misalignment: it can be rather easy for sloppy case fits and tolerance stacks AND thermal distortion to result in bearing misalignment. With misalignment of as little as 1/10 deg (6 minutes, which isn't much at all), the inner ring gets skewed and the balls speed up and slow down as they orbit arount the raceway. This is a result of the balls going up the one side of the raceway, crossing over the center and then doing the same on the other side of the raceway,

Result: the cage gets hammered by the balls constantly changing orbit speed as they instantaneously go thru a different instantaneous radii as they travel back and forth. Initially, the cages rattle from the hammering but in severe cases, and especially at high speeds, the cages can actually get pounded appart. The shorter the case, the worse this is.

I doubt that most folks would consider 6 minutes of misalignment "severe" but, sadly, it can be, ESPECIALLY at max rated speed.

Re Overload: Would you consider running a bearing at 50% to 60% of the rated capacity "overloaded"? Probably not.

HOWEVER, the load life projections are all based upon the bearings NOT being loaded anywhere near that hard, EVER. As I recall, the foundation of the load life factors is based upon what is called L10 life and this is calc'd at roughly 10% or so of the rated capacity.

If you want the bearing to "live" at the max rated speed (say 5900), you'd better only load it to a small fraction of the rated capacity (say 5% to 10%).

Re LIFE DERATING factors: there are "derating factors" that exist for bearings that are used for serious bearing load/life calculations. For each and every "off' condition, there is a sliding scale "derating" factor that, when applied to the theoretical load life calculation, will predict to some degress how much less a bearing may live when "off conditions" are unavoidable. You'd be amazed at how fast these minor "inconsequentialities" cut into the rated life of bearings.

These derating factors are NOT always published as they are somewhat empirical and they are not always politically acceptable. Customers always look for how sloppy they can get away with. Meanwhile, bearing engineers are always trying to make the client happy with bearings that can/will live in less than optimum operating environments.

The point I'm trying to make remains as follows: don't look for the number you want to see with regard to the speed or load or whatever rating for a bearing that you are planning to use/abuse.

If you study the applications and design manuals, you can often find the specs needed to tune up an application so that it can run at high speeds and loads.

But don't ever think that a SWAG perusal of and compliance with the easiest to achieve, convenient "specs" in the catalog will ever totally suffice for choosing and applying ALL the critical life affecting factors properly to bearings.

I will agree that the "recommendations" that are found in catalogs are both a function of empirical knowledge. More importantly, however, they are a result of true and proper load life calculations. These are tempered with sound judgement and the knowledge of what you can and can not get away with regarding the inevitable "off conditions" that occur.

Search out and find the load life calculations for the bearing you want to use/abuse. Do the math. When you do, then see if the bearing suppier offers a derating calculation method. Do the math with some realistic off condition assumptions or realities. You'll be amazed what you'll learn and what the calculations can predict.

We had an application where two engineering managers picked some bearings out for an application that they "knew" would work. The application was a high pressure hydraulic pump. The bearings failed in 15-20 minutes time after time. The project was dumped into my lap because of my prior "bearing experience". The first thing I had the engineers do was run the pressures thru the pump and figure out the gear loads.

To no small degree of amazement, the gear separtion forces were well over the theoretical rated capacity of the bearings. The calcs said the bearings shouldn't have lasted 5 minutes - amazingly they lasted 15~20. Seems that the "expert" managers figured that the rated capacity of the bearing was what it would be capable of tolerating so off they ran with a woefully undersized bearing.

We eventually got the thing to work but nobody EVER chose a bearing again without showing load life calculations at that company. And management scrambled like crazy to bury the costs from this abject stupidity anyway they could...

Warpspeed
06-28-2007, 12:08 AM
I cannot disagree with any of that.

As a now retired electronics design engineer myself, I can certainly identify with your strong feelings and great respect for margins, tolerances, and attention to detail, as well as the value of many years practical experience in the same field.

So I bow to your superior knowledge.

But having said that, there is also a place for the amateur to sometimes push the limits of what in other circumstances may be seen as fairly risky.

The home hobbyist that has bought an ultra low cost motor on e-bay may be more inclined to "try it and see" rather than pay a consultant to do all the calculations. If he overdoes it, and the bearing becomes noisy, he can always then try a new bearing. If that fails too in a short time, then it is probably not a complete disaster.

Whereas a professional engineer working as part of a design team for a large corporation designing mass produced machinery, needs to take a much more sober approach.

There must be some middle ground to all this somewhere.

NC Cams
06-28-2007, 06:06 PM
A piece of sage wisdom that has served me well both professionally and personally:

DIY'ers (and many pro's for that matter) never seem to have the time to do the calculations and/or the job right the first time BUT, BUT they always seem to have the time and $$$'s to do it over and over and over if they end up doing it wrong the first time.

Time after time, I've had clients do the latter and wish (and oh how they wish) that they'd done the former.

Caveat emptor.

Warpspeed
06-28-2007, 07:12 PM
Ha-ha, yes indeed !!!

Funnily enough a recent e-mail from a friend has had me thinking about all this before I saw your last post.

As a poor but enthusiastic engineering student I used to rush headlong into projects, and usually ended up destroying things, or having to do the job twice (or more). Failed or abandoned projects were not that uncommon either.

Times change, and in maturity as a professional design engineer I had the resources and knowledge to do things properly and rigorously. It is easy to look down at the amateur tinkerer with disdain. But quite likely most of us started out that way.

Now in retirement, I have plenty of time to think things through, but very limited resources. Projects take forever to complete, but they always work.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have both the exuberance of youth and the experience of old age.

NC Cams
06-29-2007, 05:17 PM
Youth is wasted on the young.

in2steam
07-02-2007, 06:45 AM
A piece of sage wisdom that has served me well both professionally and personally:

DIY'ers (and many pro's for that matter) never seem to have the time to do the calculations and/or the job right the first time BUT, BUT they always seem to have the time and $$$'s to do it over and over and over if they end up doing it wrong the first time.

Time after time, I've had clients do the latter and wish (and oh how they wish) that they'd done the former.

Caveat emptor.

I find that statement funny, not meant as an insult, and may truly show that my experiences in life have been less then "the best" in regards to engineers as I personally know several that I wish I had at my current company and past employers also. But when I was at leeson a good amount of geuess work went into the engineers prototypes, this often showed, at least in the electrical end, the mechanical engineers seemed to have a better handle on what they were doing they were always refining(i.e. making it as cheap as possible).
Currently when I hear the words "engineering is involved" I tend start thinking of ways to fix there messes, esp if I get to see while its a work in progress(one of the benefits of being on an off shift). I long ago stopped recomending to them and quitely fix the problem(s) after they have long gone(or given up and have someone else consult them). I also like to make the documentation that they neglected to do like ladder diagrams and wire numbers for my own benefit if not theres when they come back brag about how good its working (to our customers). That is untill they open up the beast and see that its not always the way they left it, but then again they can never say for certain as they never had prints there and mine are done in language they don't understand very often,~maintenance~. More often then not though many of there projects end up as white elephants that never get used on the production floor as they never bother to ask the people who are going to use it how it should be done. This has also lead to some ergonomics and quality problems too, I can keep going....

chris

NC Cams
07-02-2007, 04:27 PM
Engineering schools are NOT doing superb jobs of creating/training problem solving engineers anymore. They are, however doing a lot of "program manager" training wherein enough technology for the guy to "manage" programs is conveyed. But, not necessarliy enough info or knowledge for the technically inclined person to truly "engineer" the item sufficiently is being conveyed.

Moreover and sadly, the engineering school attentdee's are looking for answers to test problems - they are NOT appreciably interested in learning how to figure out how to solve the problems under a myriad of situations.

This is why the budding graduates don't know how to delve into a problem, learn what's going on and come up with viable solutions/alternatives to make things work properly or correctly.

Want proof?

Do a search on the topic of "bearing fits" here on the 'Zone. You'll readily find "answers" thrown around on how much press fit to install a bearing at, even though a bearing shouldn't always be pressed into the housing. How to properly fit the bearing for any particular application requires knowledge and an understanding of the loads and operating environment.

Sadly, the folks who jump on the "Zone and ask "how much press?" are looking for a quick and dirty answer, NOT the knowledge on how to properly fit the item.

Sadly, the proper answer and the knowledge required to determine the RIGHT answer are NOT always one and the same.

Warpspeed
07-02-2007, 09:12 PM
Oh, this is all so very true.

My knowledge area is in electronics design, but I agree that an apprentice fitter and turner probably knows far more about fits and tolerances than many a graduate engineer simply because he is a lot more familiar with it.

In electronics, many graduate engineers go straight into design work, thinking that a few esoteric mathematical formulas and a head full of software will get the job done. Many are hopelessly impractical in their outlook, and are utterly useless for anything other than teaching. They usually end up in sales or management making everyone else's life a misery.

The best practical engineers are usually the guys that started out on the workshop floor, or as service technicians, and did some mature age part time study the hard way. Those guys have a practical hands on background and fully realize that being able to reach all of the screws, simple straightforward assembly and disassembly, and having proper documentation is all part of good equipment design.

I think we all know of nightmares where it takes five hours for an experienced service guy with all the right tools to replace a simple broken drive belt, because the original equipment designer was a complete idiot.

And if it can be fitted in backwards, eventually someone will do it. So design the bloody thing so it can only go back together one way !!! Design for manufacture is a whole other subject. Some engineers just completely lose the plot when it comes to being practical.

End of rant...

in2steam
07-03-2007, 12:57 AM
Oh, this is all so very true.



I think we all know of nightmares where it takes five hours for an experienced service guy with all the right tools to replace a simple broken drive belt, because the original equipment designer was a complete idiot.



AMEN!

My personal favorite story in that right is, that me and my boss, were in on a saturday to cordinate with the engineer in charge of findng a problem with a press(which to this day some years latter has never been fixed), we got in at 6am and he showed at around 9:00, of course he promptly went to breakfast and was ready to go by 10:00 about the time we start cleaning up and go home to our families. At any rate we were replacing a linear bearing we found bad in the process of waiting for him to arive. The grease zerks and wipers on the ends were neglected for the required lubrication, since you had to disassemble the press for around 30 minutes to get at that one bearing it was neglected on my part more often then not. In of itself it was a straight forward replacement I would rate as typical. Upon arriving back from his little snack, the engineer (around a 10 year employee 5 of which as a engineer) looked at us and asked why we were wasting our time with greasing bearings? We then proceed to to tell him that this one had failed, due to lack of lubrication, and was getting replaced. He looked at us straight in the face, not more then 1 minute before me and my boss were on the computer to look at the lubrication interval (from INA)mind you, and said "linear bearings don't fail becuase of lack of lubrication, you don't need to lubricate them. And starts to go off on his pulpit about how he would have to check the alginment and build some sort of fancy jig to replace this bearing(which I had helped the people who retro fitted to not more the 6 months before, they just put it in right or wrong.) that had been mounted on a flexible piece of alum orginally using plain bearings. My boss nearly through the bearing at him, I think he was going over in his mind about the impending jail sentence and less time with his family, in my opionion I would have bailed him out.

chris