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A Model for Rolling Bearing Life with Surface and Subsurface Survival - Tribological Effects


Until now the estimation of rolling bearing life has been based on engineering models that consider an equivalent stress, originated beneath the contact surface, that is applied to the stressed volume of the rolling contact. Through the years, fatigue surface??“originated failures, resulting from reduced lubrication or contamination, have been incorporated into the estimation of the bearing life by applying a penalty to the overall equivalent stress of the rolling contact. Due to this simplification, the accounting of some specific failure modes originated directly at the surface of the rolling contact can be challenging. In the present article, this issue is addressed by developing a general approach for rolling contact life in which the surfaceoriginated damage is explicitly formulated into the basic fatigue equations of the rolling contact. This is achieved by introducing a function to describe surface-originated failures and coupling it with the traditional, subsurface-originated fatigue risk of the rolling contact. The article presents the fundamental theory of the new model and its general behavior. The ability of the present general method to provide an account for the surface??“subsurface competing fatigue mechanisms taking place in rolling bearings is discussed with reference to endurance testing data.