Machinery Failure Analysis & Troubleshooting - Fourth Edition

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Solve the machinery failure problems costing you time and money with this classic, comprehensive guide to analysis and troubleshooting

  • Provides detailed, complete and accurate information on anticipating risk of component failure and avoiding equipment downtime
  • Includes numerous photographs of failed parts to ensure you are familiar with the visual evidence you need to recognize
  • Covers proven approaches to failure definition and offers failure identification and analysis methods that can be applied to virtually all problem situations
  • Demonstrates with examples how the progress and results of failure analysis and troubleshooting efforts can be documented and monitored

Failures of machinery in a plant setting can have wide-ranging consequences and in order to stay competitive, corporations across all industries must optimize the efficiency and reliability of their machinery.

Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting is a trusted, established reference in the field, authored by two well-known authorities on failure and reliability. Structured to teach failure identification and analysis methods that can be applied to almost all problem situations, this eagerly awaited update takes in the wealth of technological advances and changes in approach seen since the last edition published more than a decade ago.

Covering both the engineering detail and management theory, Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting provides a robust go-to reference and training resource for all engineers and managers working in manufacturing and process plants.


Heinz P. Bloch and Fred K. Geitner








"A rather large number of factors influences lubricating oil degradation and, consequently, pump bearing life. If your centrifugal pumps are equipped with rolling element bearings, there is little doubt that medium viscosity turbine oils (ISO Grade 68) will perform better than the lighter oils originally specified by many pump manufacturers. But, by far, the most frequent cause of lube-oil-related failure incidents is water and dirt contamination. With only 20 ppm water in pure mineral oil, bearing surface and rolling element fatigue life is reduced by an incredible 48 percent. Although the fatigue life reduction is less pronounced with inhibited lubricants, there are always compelling reasons to exclude dirt and water from pump bearing housings. Lip seals are a poor choice for centrifugal pump installations demanding high reliability. Face seals represent superior, "hermetic" sealing and should be given serious consideration.

"On a related subject, have you explained to your operators and maintenance personnel that a full-bottle oiler is no guarantee of adequate lubrication? The height of the beveled tube determines the level of oil in the bearing housing, and all too often there will be costly misunderstandings. However, there are at least two considerably more elusive problems involving bottle oilers.

"The first of these is that bottle oilers may malfunction unless suitably large bearing housing vents are provided. With a relatively viscous oil and close clearance at the bearing housing seal, an oil film may exist between seal bore and shaft surface. Good lube oils have a certain film strength and under certain operating conditions, this sealing film near the bearing end cap may break only if the pressure difference bearing housing interior-to-surrounding atmosphere exceeds 3/8 inch of water column.

"If now, the bearing housing is exposed to a temperature increase of a few degrees, the trapped vapors - usually an air-oil mix - floating above the liquid oil level will expand and the pressure may rise 1/4 inch of water column. While this would not be sufficient to rupture the oil film so as to establish equilibrium between atmosphere and bearing housing interior, the pressure buildup is nevertheless sufficient to depress the oil level from its former location near the center of a bearing ball at the 6 o'clock position to a new level now barely touching the extreme bottom of the lowermost bearing rolling element. At that time, the bearing will overheat and the lube oil in contact with it will carbonize. An oil analysis will usually determine that the resulting blackening of the oil is due to this high temperature degradation.

"The second of the elusive oil-related problems often causes the contents of bottle oilers to turn grayish color. This one is primarily observed on ring-oil lubricated rolling element bearings.

"Suppose you have very precisely aligned the shafts of pump and driver; nevertheless, shims placed under the equipment feet in order to achieve this precise alignment caused the shaft system to slant 0.005" or 0.010" per foot of shaft length. As a consequence, the brass or bronze oil slinger ring will now exhibit a strong tendency to run "downhill." Thus bumping into other pump components thousands of times per day, the slinger ring gradually degrades and sheds numerous tiny specks of the alloy material. The specks of metal cause progressive oil deterioration and, ultimately, bearing distress.

"Pump users may wish to pursue one of two time-tested preventive measures. First, use properly vented bearing housings or, better yet, hermetically sealed bearing housings without oiler bottles. The latter are offered by some pump manufacturers and incorporate bull's-eye-type sight glasses to ascertain proper oil levels.

"The second preventive measure would take into account the need for radically improved pump and driver leveling during shaft alignment or, even more desirable, apply flinger spools. Of course, oil mist lubrication or direct oil injection into the bearings would represent an altogether more dependable, long- term satisfactory lube application method for centrifugal pumps."


Table Of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: The Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting System
    • Troubleshooting as an Extension of Failure Analysis
    • Causes of Machinery Failures
    • Root Causes of Machinery Failure
    • References
  • Chapter 2: Metallurgical Failure Analysis
    • Types of Failures
    • Metallurgical Failure Analysis Methodology
    • Failure Analysis of Bolted Joints
    • Shaft Failures
    • The Case of the Boiler Fan Turbine
    • Analysis of Surface-Change Failures
    • Analyzing Wear Failures
    • Preventive Action Planning Avoids Corrosion Failure
    • Case Studies
    • Summary
    • References
  • Chapter 3: Machinery Component Failure Analysis
    • Bearings in Distress
    • Rolling-Element Bearing Failures and Their Causes
    • Patterns of Load Paths and Their Meaning in Bearing Damage
    • Troubleshooting Bearings
    • Journal and Tilt-Pad Thrust Bearings
    • Gear Failure Analysis
    • Preliminary Considerations
    • Analytical Evaluation of Gear Theoretical Capability
    • Metallurgical Evaluation
    • General Mechanical Design
    • Lubrication
    • Defects Induced by Other Train Components
    • Wear
    • Scoring
    • Surface Fatigue
    • Failures from the Manufacturing Process
    • Breakage
    • Lubricated Flexible/Coupling Failure Analysis
    • Gear-Coupling Failure Analysis
    • Gear-Coupling Failure Mechanisms
    • Determining the Cause of Mechanical Seal Distress
    • Troubleshooting and Seal-Failure Analysis
    • Summary of Mechanical Seal Failure Analysis
    • Avoiding Common Causes of 0-ring Failures
    • Failure Without Visible Evidence on Seal
    • Compression Set
    • Lubricant Considerations
    • Lubrication Failure Analysis
    • Why Lube Oil Should Be Purified
    • Six Lube-Oil Analyses Are Required
    • Periodic Sampling and Conditioning Routines Implemented
    • Calculated Benefit -to-Cost Ratio 1
    • Wear-Particle Analysis
    • Grease Failure Analysis
    • Magnetism in Turbo machinery
    • References
  • Chapter 4: Machinery Troubleshooting
    • Competing Approaches
    • The Professional Problem Solver's (PPS) Approach
    • The Matrix Approach to Machinery Troubleshooting
    • Troubleshooting Pumps
    • Making bood Choices
    • Troubleshooting Centrifugal Compressors, Blowers, and Fans
    • Troubleshooting Reciprocating Compressors
    • Troubleshooting Engines
    • Troubleshooting Steam Turbines
    • Troubleshooting Gas Turbines
    • Troubleshooting Electric Motors
    • Electrical Motor Bearing Failures
    • Troubleshooting the Process
    • Apply Proven Machinery Problem Solving Strategies
    • References
  • Chapter 5: Vibration Analysis
    • Machine History
    • Machine Characteristics
    • Interpretation of Collected Data
    • Aerodynamic Flow-Induced Vibrations
    • Establishing Safe Operating Limits for Machinery
    • Appendix
    • Formulas
    • References
  • Chapter 6: Generalized Machinery Problem-Solving Sequence
    • Situation Analysis
    • Cause Analysis
    • Action Planning and Generation
    • Planning for Change
    • References
  • Chapter 7: Statistical Approaches in Machinery Problem Solving
    • Machinery Failure Modes and Maintenance Strategies
    • Machinery Maintenance Strategies
    • Method to Identify Bad Repairs from Bad Designs
    • References
    • Quantifying Reliability Performance to Meet Process Safety Expectations
    • How Equipment Reliability has an Impact on Process Safety
    • Case Histories in Responsive Risk Mitigation
    • Conservative, but Reasonable?
    • What Does "Good" Look Like?
    • A Standardized Approach to Assessing Pump Failure Risk
    • Conclusions
    • References
  • Chapter 8: Formalized Failure Reporting as a Teaching Tool
    • Examining the Sample Reports
    • The Case of the High-Speed, Low-Flow Pump Failure
    • References
  • Chapter 9: The "Seven Cause Category Approach" to Root Cause Failure Analysis
    • Checklists and Failure Statistics Can be Helpful
    • Systematic Approaches Always Valuable
    • Faulty Design Causes Premature Bearing Failures
    • Fabrication and Processing Errors Can Prove Costly
    • Operations Errors Can Cause Pumps to Malfunction
    • Maintenance Omissions Can Cause Loss of Life
    • Awareness of Off-Design and Unintended Service Conditions Needed to Prevent Failures
    • Reduced Life and Catastrophic Failure of Electric Motor Bearings
    • References
  • Chapter 10: A Principle Based Problem Solving Process
    • Traditional Problem-Solving Strategies
    • Linear Thinking
    • Categorization
    • Storytelling
    • Root Cause Myth
    • Principles of Causation
    • Seven Steps to Effective Problem Solving
    • RealityCharting
    • Continuous Improvement-The Essence of Quality
    • Additional Resources
    • References
  • Chapter 11: Knowledge·Based Systems for Machinery Failure Diagnosis
    • Examples of Knowledge-Based Systems
    • Identification and Selection of Knowledge-Based System Applications
    • Project Implementation
    • Expert-System Questionnaire
    • References
  • Chapter 12: Training and Organizing for Successful Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting
    • Available Choices and When to Make Them
    • Why Shared Learning and a Measure of Specialization are Important
    • Specific Steps in the Training and Learning Process
    • Favorable Results Anticipated
    • Professional Growth: The Next Step
    • Organizing for Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting
    • Setting Up a Centrifugal Pump Failure Reduction Program
    • Definition of Approach and Goals
    • Action Steps Outlined
    • Development of Checklists and Procedures
    • Program Results and Conclusions
    • References
  • Appendix A: Databases, Surveys and mean-time-between-failure expectations derived from literature and from authors' observations
  • Appendix B: Probability Plotting of Life Data
  • Appendix C: Glossary of Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Terms
  • Appendix D: Gear Nomenclature
  • Subject Index

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