How does bearing wear affect the bearing clearance?

Lars Butenschön | 1. July 2019

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  • Bearing wear means material erosion on the sliding surface, i.e. as a rule, at the inner diameter of the bearing.
  • The clearance between bearing and shaft results arithmetically from the tolerances of bearing and shaft.


The real starting clearance at commissioning is the difference between the measured actual inner diameter of the bearing and the measured actual outer diameter of the shaft. A wear on the inner diameter of the bearing leads to an increase in diameter and thus to an enlargement of the clearance.
Since iglidur plain bearings have no layered structure and thus the entire wall thickness acts as a wear zone, there is no wear limit specified by the bearing. The wear limit is instead determined by the maximum clearance allowed in an application. This can be very different depending on the application and user request. Precision control valves allow only a few hundredths of wear (and thus clearance enlargement). In agricultural applications with shaft diameters larger than 50 mm, a clearance of significantly more than one millimetre is often not critical.

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Plain bearings

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