Research Papers: Applications

Forensic Analysis of Surface Indentations in Rolling Contact

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaolan Ai

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

Carl Hager

The Timken Company,
North Canton, OH 44720
e-mail: carl.hager@timken.com

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received March 18, 2015; final manuscript received May 14, 2015; published online July 10, 2015. Assoc. Editor: George K. Nikas.

J. Tribol 138(1), 011101 (Jul 10, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: TRIB-15-1084; doi: 10.1115/1.4030713 History: Received March 18, 2015

The presence of debris particles in rolling element bearings can pose a major risk for premature fatigue damage on modern bearing components made from clean steels. A clear understanding of surface indentation characteristics and the associated particle that inflicted the indentation is essential for assessing the impact of surface dents on bearing fatigue life performance and for prevention of surface damage from harmful particles. A method for characterizing indentations on contact surfaces is proposed in this paper. The method allows for virtual regeneration of indentations on bearing raceway surfaces based on pseudorandom surface mapping of limited sample areas. The regenerated surface indentations maintain statistical signatures identical to the mapped samples and can be used directly as the input for high-fidelity fatigue life assessments. A set of forensic tools was developed from extensive finite element analysis (FEA) modeling on surface indentation processes and from simple particle entrainment geometry. These tools allow inference of the size of each and every particle responsible for surface indentations without requiring the full knowledge of the material properties and frictional conditions of the particles and counter-faces. The current results presented herein agree with both published test results and prior art modeling results. In addition, examples of applications are discussed to illustrate the usefulness of the tools.

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Fig. 1

The inner raceway of a tapered roller bearing: (a) sampling regions and (b) traces, strip, and sampling areas

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Fig. 2

Surface mapping over a sample area: (a) 3D surface map and (b) profile of a surface indentation

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Fig. 3

Depth and diameter of surface indentations over a raceway of a tapered roller bearing

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Fig. 4

Variation of dent slope as a function of dent diameter in log scale

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Fig. 5

Decouple depth and diameter of dents using two uncorrelated principal variables

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Fig. 6

Comparison of H versus D scatter plots between the generated dent population and the original measured population

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Fig. 7

An axial-symmetric finite element model for a spherical particle squashed between end-faces of two cylinders: (a) initial step, (b) compression step, and (c) elastic recovery

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Fig. 8

Profiles of surface indentations produced by elastic-perfect plastic particles of 500 μm under various frictional conditions

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Fig. 9

Influence of particle size and interfacial friction coefficient on dent diameter and slope

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Fig. 10

Variation of dent-to-particle diameter ratio as a function of friction coefficient for various material property combinations

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Fig. 11

Variation of dent slope (H/D) as a function of normalized dent diameter (D/Φ) for various particle sizes and material property combinations

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Fig. 12

Variation of dent slope (H/D) as a function of normalized dent diameter (D/Φ), including analytical and experimental results from prior art represented by half-open symbols and solid symbols, respectively

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Fig. 13

Probability density distributions of particles and dents inflected by the particles on the outer raceway of a tapered roller bearing

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Fig. 14

Force balance diagram of a simplified particle entrainment model

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Fig. 15

Predicted maximum entrainable particle size using simple particle entrainment model versus the entrained particle size as “observed” at the upper 95% particle size distribution curve

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Fig. 16

Dent slope versus dent diameter plot superimposed with a series of parallel lines at a slope of A = −4.26278 defined by Eq. (9)



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