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    Near-race Ultrasonic Detection of Subsurface Defects in Bearing Rings

    Published: 2012

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    Bearing steel cleanliness is of primary importance because of the potential failures caused by rolling contact fatigue (RCF). Previous work has shown a high correlation between subsurface inclusion size at the fracture surface and fatigue life. Currently, full volume ultrasonic scanning provides a means to quantify steel cleanliness and predict the likelihood that an inclusion is present in the area of interest. However, this method does not guarantee that a given bearing component is defect free in the near-race region. This article provides a method of near-race inspection for the detection of subsurface defects commonly associated with RCF failure. In order to evaluate the technique, measurement references with subsurface defects of known size are produced from finished bearing rings such that the calibration measurements represent the actual part microstructure. These reference parts are needed in ultrasonic calibration measurements necessary for defect sizing on production parts. This work is expected to impact the field of nondestructive testing for components subjected to RCF.


    surface wave scanning, ultrasonic scanning, bearing steel cleanliness, near-surface inclusions, sub-surface inclusion detection, laser machining, femtosecond laser

    Author Information:

    Koester, Lucas W.
    Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

    Zuhlke, Craig
    Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

    Alexander, Dennis
    Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

    Fuller, Allen J.
    Amsted Rail Brenco., Petersburg, VA

    Wilson, Brent M.
    Amsted Rail, Granite City, IL

    Turner, Joseph A.
    Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

    Committee/Subcommittee: A01.28

    DOI: 10.1520/STP104623