Effects of Electrostatic Discharges on Bearing Grease Dielectric Strength and Composition

Alexsei Romanenko, Annette Mütze, Jero Ahola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bearing faults may significantly reduce the useful life of electric machines. With the advent of modern fast-switching frequency converters, electric currents induced by the high-frequency common-mode voltage of these converters have been recognized as additional, sometimes severe, contributors to bearing degradation. The degradation is understood to progress both by damaging the bearing surfaces and by altering the chemical composition of the lubrication greases, which can lead to ineffective lubrication and reduction in permissible mechanical bearing load. This paper studies the effect of grease degradation due to discharge currents on the grease dielectric strength and chemical composition of several greases typically used with electric drives. From this, conclusions on the grease selection for variable-speed drive applications are drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4835-4842
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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