On the Frictional Characteristics of Ball Bearings Coated With Solid Lubricants

[+] Author and Article Information
M. R. Lovell

Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506

M. M. Khonsari

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes, Southern lllinoise University, Carbondale, IL 62901

J. Tribol 121(4), 761-767 (Oct 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2834133 History: Received January 16, 1998; Revised July 09, 1998; Online January 24, 2008


The problem of a ball bearing in normal contact between two transversely isotropic coated substrates is investigated using the finite element method (FEM). A three-dimensional finite element model is developed that accurately determines the steady friction force in low-speed bearing systems containing soft layered solid lubricant films. Extensive numerical results, which are verified using Hertzian contact theory and laboratory experiments, are obtained at 540 operating conditions by varying coating material, coating thickness, normal load, ball material, and ball radius. Friction force results generated from the FEM are normalized by introducing the dimensionless transversely isotropic coating parameter, ξ. A numerical expression for the normalized friction force in coated ball bearings is determined by curvefitting the results of the 540 simulations performed. The relevance of such an expression, as related to the durability of low-speed bearings, is subsequently ascertained and discussed.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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