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The clinker hammer crusher is one of the main pieces of equipment in cement production and is used for the crushing of clinker, the main product of cement kilns, into smaller parts for the preparation of grinding. At CEMEX Egypt, the bearings used in the clinker crusher are spherical roller bearings. These bearings are lubricated with a lithium complex thickened grease with a synthetic base oil designed for high-temperature applications.
Clinker Hammer Crusher
At the CEMEX plant, bearing failures can lead to a halt in cement production. To maintain continuous operation, it is critical for the bearings to operate smoothly. As part of the predictive maintenance program, vibration analysis is used to monitor the condition of the crusher.
A grease sample to analyze wear debris was taken at the first shutdown of the clinker crusher as part of a new program to monitor the performance of equipment. Vibration monitoring of the outboard bearing in the third clinker crusher line at a speed of 360 RPM provided no warning signals. During the next scheduled shutdown, the bearing was opened and a sample of grease was taken. Wear debris analysis was performed on the grease sample to find the cause of the bearing failure that occurred.Wear Debris Analysis
52ZM Stereoscopic Zoom Microscope
Wear particles were considered to be a critical alarm indicating the need to change the bearing before a forced outage occurs.Follow-up Inspection
Large and Small Spherical Particles Found in a Bearing Grease Sample
Magnet Used to Extract Wear Debris
Defective Bearing Shows Signs of Severe Wear
This case study illustrates the efficiency of condition monitoring based on the detection of debris in grease, which can be a resourceful tool in controlling machine condition and should integrate diagnostic devices.References
1. Sabrin Gebarin and Jim Fitch. "Origin of Spherical Particles in Lubricants." Practicing Oil Analysis magazine, March 2005.
2. Ray Garvey. "Enhanced 5200 Minilab Offers Improved Oil Analysis." Practicing Oil Analysis magazine, July 2005.
3. Jian Ding. "Determining Fatigue Wear Using Wear Particle Analysis Tools." Practicing Oil Analysis magazine, September 2003.