Industrial gearboxes, motors, couplings, clutches, ball bearings

International Shipping

The Different Types of Industrial Wear and Tear


If you are operating industrial machinery, or at least supervising or employing people who operate it for you, then you are no doubt aware of the many wear and tear problems that industrial companies must contend with.


Whether your business utilises variable speed belts, geared-motor units, parallel shaft gearboxes or any other kind of industrial machinery, no doubt you have already experienced many of the problems that arise. However, even if your geared-motor units have been operating perfectly so far, it’s worth being aware of all the potential issues that are likely to affect the various forms of industrial machinery ahead of time.


It’s true that most types of industrial equipment will encounter several kinds of wear and tear factors, often multiple factors at the same time, and this impacts the business due to the machinery requiring significant downtime for repair. In many cases, such as with less hardy parts like variable speed belts, the downtime is caused because the parts need outright replacement. So below we have listed the seven major causes of industrial wear and tear, being aware of which will help your business keep on top of any issues that arise with your machinery.



Frictional wear and tear occurs due to the energy created by the constant motion between two proximate surfaces. Usually this will manifest itself in linear grooves that are created by the reciprocating contact, and while one of the least damaging causes on this list, it can still cause significant damage if left unchecked.



Wear and tear caused by high temperatures will usually manifest itself in the softening of any metal parts. You may also discover degradations of the material’s properties that exacerbate other types of wear and tear such as abrasion or erosion.



Abrasive wear and tear can happen when any surface in motion comes into contact with another surface. It becomes a major problem when a harder and larger material makes contact with a softer material, though abrasion can happen with two equally hard surfaces as well.



Erosive wear and tear happens when smaller particles impress upon a much larger surface and gradually remove tiny fragments of the larger surface material due to a continuous momentum effect.



Cavitation is the fast formation and subsequent collapse of little pockets of vapour or air in a flowing liquid in areas consisting of very low pressure. Cavitation is a frequent cause of structural damage to machinery such as propellers and pumps.


Impact Damage

Impact wear and tear occurs when one solid surface repeatedly impacts upon a second solid surface. This will result in a gradual degradation of the material, even if the parts involved are designed to withstand such impacts.



Corrosive wear and tear can be one of the most dangerous kinds and is caused by a material’s surface degrading due to an adverse reaction with something foreign in its environment such as leaking chemicals or even water.


If wear and tear has already damaged your machine parts such as parallel shaft gearboxes, geared motor units or variable speed belts, then contact YB Components who can ship these parts all over the world.