Research Papers: Applications

A Comprehensive Model for Assessing the Impact of Steel Cleanliness on Bearing Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaolan Ai

Fellow ASME
The Timken Company,
North Canton, OH 44720
e-mail: xiaolan.ai@timken.com

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received February 12, 2014; final manuscript received August 26, 2014; published online October 3, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Daniel Nélias.

J. Tribol 137(1), 011101 (Oct 03, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: TRIB-14-1043; doi: 10.1115/1.4028467 History: Received February 12, 2014; Revised August 26, 2014

Steel cleanliness as measured by nonmetallic inclusion content in steel plays a major role in affecting bearing durability. A high-fidelity virtual bearing life test model was developed to predict the impact of inclusions on bearing fatigue life. This model analyzes distributions of inclusion size, shape, orientation, and location, and computes stress alterations to bearing material due to inclusions and the resulting life reduction. Comparisons between model predictions and experimental test results were made, confirming the validity of the model. Parametric studies were conducted to explore the effects of inclusion counts, inclusion size distributions, and the effect of overall bearing size on bearing life. A regression equation was proposed based on simulation results, linking the bearing life reduction factor (LRF) to the accumulative inclusion length within the stressed volume under contact load.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Steel , Stress , Bearings
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Fig. 1

Schematic of an ellipsoidal inclusion

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Fig. 2

Example probability density distribution of inclusion sizes for a roller bearing: (a) Outer race ring (UT code LYG) and (b) Inner race ring (UT code LYF)

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Fig. 3

Flow lines for outer race ring for a tapered roller bearing: (a) Simulation result and (b) Experimental observation

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Fig. 4

Local stress disturbance caused by an ellipsoidal inclusion under Hertzian contact. The semi-axes of the inclusion are 75 × 25 × 25 μm (1.96 × 10−4 mm3); the maximum Hertzian stress 1.83 GPa (nominal von Mises stress 1.01 GPa); and the half Hertzian width is 5.0 mm. (a) Cross-sectional view of von Mises disturbance; (b) Iso-surface plot of stress level above 1.28 GPa (26% above nominal); affected volume 2.47 × 10−4 mm3; and (c) Iso-surface plot of stress level above 1.06 GPa (5% above nominal); affected volume 2.27×10−3 mm3

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Fig. 5

Stressed volume V for a roller bearing. The stressed volume includes a local domain Ωj that contains the jth inclusion.

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Fig. 6

Simulation model structure and computational work flow

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Fig. 7

Example of MC simulation results for bearing LRF distribution, Brg ser #2, steel cleanliness level E (with UT codes LYG for outer race ring and LYF for inner race ring, respectively)

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Fig. 8

Median and mean fatigue life comparison between model predictions and experimental results

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Fig. 9

Bearing life as a function of steel cleanliness measured as a cumulative inclusion length per unit volume

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Fig. 10

Bearing LRF as a function of steel cleanliness measured as a cumulative inclusion length per unit volume

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Fig. 11

Bearing LRF as a function of a cumulative inclusion length per unit volume

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Fig. 12

Bearing LRF as a function of inclusion counts in the stressed volume

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Fig. 13

Bearing LRF as a function of accumulative inclusion length in the stressed volume

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Fig. 14

Bearing LRF as a function of accumulative inclusion length in the stressed volume




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