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damaged bearing pad

Problem: A Journal and mating Babbitted Bearing are both found to be significantly damaged. The situation addressed here is focused on a journal that is grooved, scored, or severely pitted. Causes may include a large solid particle in the lube oil, loss of lube oil, or extensive pitting from electrolysis. In severe cases, the journal may be damaged to a radial depth of 1/8 inch or more. 

Solution:  TRI offers a “turn-key solution” wherein the plant places one contract with TRI to provide the services to remachine the journal and to refurbish the bearing to suit the new journal size.

TRI is available to (a) provide overall project supervision, (b) provide site technical direction, (c) hire a company that specializes in machining and finishing journals or seal surfaces in place, and (d) TRI shops will refurbish the bearing, or manufacture a new bearing with undersize bore. TRI has been able to have all of the required resources moving and sub-contracts placed within 30 minutes of the phone call from the customer.


  1.  Coordination of the repairs to both components – Journals and Bearings – is maximized, helping to assure that efforts are directed to a common goal – a fully functional journal-bearing. 
  2. TRI Engineering specializes in designing Babbitted Bearings (Circular bore, elliptical bore, and tilting-pad designs) for turbine-generators, rather than simply reverse engineering the bearing. Even on an emergency basis, TRI can ensure that whatever the application, the bearing design supplied will be suitable for the application. In certain situations, upgraded bearing bore designs can be machined into the surface of the Babbitt bore without changing the return time.
  3. Emergency repairs often involve adding a Babbitt layer to the existing Babbitt, and machining a new bore. However, bearings with Babbitt layers that are over 1/8 inch thick should be replaced with new steel backed bearings with a maximum of 1/8 inch Babbitt. TRI technical department creates CAD drawings that can be used to manufacture new bearings with the desired Babbitt thickness that can be installed at a later date. 
  4. When high vibration sub-synchronous vibrations (oil whip, oil whirl, steam whirl) occur and damage machinery, TRI Engineering can design bearing bores that suppress such dangerous vibrations, often during emergency repairs.