Catcher Bearing Life Prediction Using a Rainflow Counting Approach

[+] Author and Article Information
Jung Gu Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840

Alan Palazzolo1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840apalazzolo@tamu.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Tribol 134(3), 031101 (Jun 12, 2012) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006176 History: Received August 16, 2011; Revised February 17, 2012; Published June 12, 2012; Online June 12, 2012

Catcher bearings (CB) are an essential component for rotating machine with active magnetic bearings (AMBs) suspensions. The CB’s role is to protect the magnetic bearing and other close clearance component in the event of an AMB failure. The contact load, the Hertzian stress, and the sub/surface shear stress between rotor, races, and balls are calculated, using a nonlinear ball bearing model with thermal growth, during the rotor drop event. Fatigue life of the CB in terms of the number of drop occurrences prior to failure is calculated by applying the Rainflow Counting Algorithm to the sub/surface shear stress-time history. Numerical simulations including high fidelity bearing models and a Timoshenko beam finite element rotor model show that CB life is dramatically reduced when high-speed backward whirl occurs. The life of the CB is seen to be extended by reducing the CB clearances, by applying static side-loads to the rotor during the drop occurrence, by reducing the drop speed, by reducing the support stiffness and increasing the support damping and by reducing the rotor (journal)—bearing contact friction.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Thermal node and heat transfer network

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Figure 2

Bearing geometry

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Figure 3

Shaft and Catcher Bearing Model

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Figure 4

Displacements of the ball, inner race, and outer race

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Figure 5

Sub-surface Shear Stress Ratio τ0/σmax versus Ellipse Axis Ratio [17]

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Figure 6

Load distribution in the inner race

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Figure 8

(a) Dimensions Diagram (in mm) and (b) Finite Element Model for Example System [26]

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Figure 9

Simulation result of Nominal case; (a) orbit plot, (b) Hertzian stress distribution, (c) Hertzian stress versus time, (d) Hertzian stress versus angle (e) Temperature versus time, and (f) Rainflow histogram

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Figure 10

Cumulative Damage; (a) Damage versus test point location for a single rotor drop event, (b) No. of drop occurrences to failure versus the number of test points, and (c) No. of drop occurrences to failure versus time

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Figure 11

Orbit plot for each simulation cases (Solid circle indicates the unloaded clearance circle)

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Figure 12

Contact force versus time

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Figure 13

Effective Shear Stress Amplitude Rainflow Histogram

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Figure 14

Angular velocities of inner race and rotor: (a) μs=0.3, μd=0.4, (b) μs=0.1, μd=0.2

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Figure 15

Number of drop occurrence to failure and peak temperature versus rotor speed

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Figure 16

Orbit and whirl rate versus time; (a) light imbalance and (b) heavy imbalance

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Figure 17

Angular velocity of rotor versus Time for the backward whirl cases

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Figure 18

Stress versus time



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