Troubleshooting LER Rings: Seal Ring Wear

LER rings are a type of labyrinth seal that serves as an essential component of SAF pillow block bearings. They provide reliable protection against contamination and extend the life of the bearing unit. Although installation of these rings is generally straightforward, it is not uncommon to experience issues with seal integrity.

Potential Causes of Seal Ring Wear

One possible issue is the bearing housing alignment. When in use, the seal rings rotate correspondingly to the shaft’s motion. When misalignment occurs between housings, the seal ring runs at an angle to the seal seat. If the misalignment is great enough, it can cause wear on the shaft. 

Another potential issue is a mismatch between the bearing housing caps. Each bearing cap has a particular mating base. These parts are not interchangeable. If you switch housing caps, then the seal grooves can be misaligned. Misaligned seal grooves can cause excessive interference, which results in LER ring wear. If this is the case in your application, seal damage would likely be present on both bearing seals. 

While rare, seal ring damage could be a manufacturing error. Purchasing your SAF blocks from low-price manufacturers or cutting corners in quality control can lead to products with machining defects. To ensure that your parts aren’t poor quality, only purchase products from manufacturers that are willing to stand behind the quality of their products.

To ensure optimal performance and prevent premature wear, it is crucial to properly maintain and monitor the LER rings. Regular inspections and lubrication can help detect wear and prevent damage to both the aluminum rings and cast iron housing.

Taking proactive measures to address any issues with LER rings can improve the reliability and longevity of SAF pillow block bearings, ultimately saving time and money in the long run.