Role of Inclusions, Surface Roughness and Operating Conditions on Rolling Contact Fatigue

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Nélias, M. L Dumont, L. Flamand

Laboratoire de Mécanique des Contacts, CNRS UMR 5514, INSA de Lyon, 20 Av. A. Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

F. Champiot, A. Vincent

G.E.M.P.P.M., CNRS UMR 5510, INSA de Lyon, 20 Av. A. Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

D. Girodin

SNR Roulements, BP 2017, 74010 Annecy, France

R. Fougéres

G.E.M.P.P.M. CNRS UMR 5510, INSA de Lyon, 20 Av. A. Einstein, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

J. Tribol 121(2), 240-251 (Apr 01, 1999) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2833927 History: Received January 14, 1998; Revised June 09, 1998; Online January 24, 2008


Tests have been performed on a two-disk machine in order to evaluate the role of inclusions, surface roughness and operating conditions on rolling contact fatigue of AISI 52100 and M50 bearing steels. Important parameters—such as nature and location of inclusions, small and large wavelengths of surface roughness, normal loading or sliding conditions—on crack initiation and propagation stages have been identified. The operating conditions have been selected to encompass typical jet engine applications. Tests have been carried out up to 4.2 GPa, for two different surface finishes. Surface distress and sub-surface damage which could result in catastrophic failure have been observed. Indeed, surface initiated deep spalling (observed at 3.5 GPa for unpolished surfaces and under rolling plus sliding conditions) as well as sub-surface initiated deep spalling (at 4.2 GPa for polished specimens) have been observed. Sub-surface micro-cracks were detected early and followed during some interrupted tests by the means of an ultrasonic echographic device. Results of our experiments are analyzed and discussed in relation to the rolling contact fatigue theories.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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