Common Causes of Early Machine Failure

 Common Causes of Early Machine Failure

In industrial systems, devices/facilities such as motors, conveyors and boilers are very expensive. The cost goes even higher when you include installation charges. Therefore, entrepreneurs and managers do everything possible to increase productivity and value of industrial machinery. To achieve these goals, it is important to understand the common causes of early machine failure and how to prevent them. In this post, we are going to outline four main causes of early machine failure.


Fatigue in machinery comes from subsurface cracking that can be caused by a number of factors including rollers and pitch lines of gear teeth. When dislocations migrate along slip planes, they eventually result in cracks.

In most cases, machinery fatigue starts from incipient cracking and extends to interconnected cracks. Finally, it becomes a spall when the cracks intersect the surface allowing small chunks to get carried by lubricants. If the bearings or rotating part continues rolling, larger chunks will be removed, resulting in total damage.


Abrasion wearing is a form of three-body cutting that result from contamination of the lubricating agent with materials such as dust. When dust particles that are harder than steel are deposited into the nipping point of two moving parts, they cut visible grooves on the surfaces. The lubricant reduces friction which results in enhancing the efficiency of the cutting process.

To reduce abrasion effect, it is important to ensure that the moving parts of your machinery are kept as clean as possible. Also, you should change the lubricant regularly to remove contaminants.


Corrosion is a chemical reaction of metallic materials that results in the formation of oxide layers on the surface. The oxide layer formed on the surface is soft and will rub away easily, resulting in the exposure of the underlying metal. This implies that your machinery will continue becoming weaker as corrosion eats different sections. In sensitive industrial facilities such as mining as noted here, corrosion is avoided as much as possible to keep the products pure. Other industries where corrosion is undesirable or not tolerated include chemical and food handling.


Deposition, unlike other failure modes like abrasion, involves material placement as opposed to removal. Although it is not a wearing method, the foreign materials deposited on your machinery can block or damage system’ plugs. Materials deposited on machinery are transported by fluid or gas and builds up on the machinery over time. For example, the edges of impellers and fans easily accumulate particle and fibrous debris that ultimately result in early failure.

If you have industrial facility with machinery, it is important to maintain them in top conditions all the time. This will reduce wearing and increase their lifespan.

Dom Charlie

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