Unlocking the Significance of Bearing Life Cycle and Its Calculations
10 May 2024

Unlocking the Significance of Bearing Life Cycle and Its Calculations

Sliding Bearings, as components that endure significant amounts of stress and load, must be reliable throughout their operational life cycle.

Sliding bearings, also known as plain bearings or bushings, are components used to support rotating or sliding shafts within machinery. Unlike Ball Bearing or rolling bearings, which engage balls or rollers to reduce friction, whereas sliding bearings depends on a sliding interface between the bearing surface and the shaft. The efficiency and life expectancy of sliding bearings are affected by various aspects, such as material selection, surface finish, operating conditions.

Understanding Sliding Bearing Life

Bearing life is the period that a bearing will operate at acceptable operating parameters before requiring replacement or maintenance. It is generally defined as the number of revolutions or operating hours in a relevant application that bearing can withstand under specified conditions before showing signs of wear, vibration, or noise.

Manufacturers often provide bearing life estimates based on standardized tests and empirical data. However, these values ​​are general guidelines and may not accurately reflect actual operating conditions.

Sliding bearing life calculator is a specialized device designed to estimate the expected life of sliding bearings based on factors of various operating parameters. These calculators use mathematical models and algorithms to predict bearing performance and identify potential failure modes.

Key Parameters Considered by Sliding Bearing Life Calculators


The magnitude and direction of applied loads have a significant effect on the service life of a bearing. Simple bearing life calculators consider static and dynamic loads, factors such as load distribution, direction, and fluctuations over time.


The rotational or sliding motion of the shaft affects the lubricant film distribution and heat transfer at the bearing interface. Higher speeds increase wear and thermal stresses, affecting bearing life.


Adequate lubrication is necessary to reduce friction, heat loss, and damage to sliding bearings. Sliding bearing life estimators examine grease type, viscosity, flow rate and dispersion to evaluate its effect on bearing performance and longevity.


Operating temperature affects fluid viscosity, thermal expansion of the carrier material, and degree of thermal degradation. The bearing life counter predicts the effect of temperature on durability by analyzing the temperature distribution in the bearing system.

Material Properties

Bearing material selection affects wear resistance, fatigue performance and compatibility with operating conditions. Plain sliding bearing life calculators calculate factors such as hardness, modulus of elasticity and surface finish to determine their service life.


In Order to examine the uncertainty in bearing life predictions one can Implement a Monte Carlo simulation. In this way, the reliability of the calculation can be increased and changes in the input parameters can be considered to obtain possible results enhancing the robustness of your estimates.

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