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    Influence of Wear Debris on Rolling Contact Fatigue

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    Results are presented on the influence of internally generated wear debris on the failure characteristics of rolling element bearings. The effects of lubricant filtration are studied, and by means of Weibull failure distributions the gains in fatigue life are shown to be as high as sevenfold if the filtration level is set correctly. Metallurgical results are presented which show that, when lubricant contamination is present, early failures, and particularly those which strongly influence L10 lives, are mostly surface initiated, and not subsurface in origin, as was previously believed to be the case with rolling contact.


    filtration, rolling contact fatigue, Weibull distributions, reliability, bimodal distributions, surface-initiated failure, surface roughness, lubrication, bearing steels

    Author Information:

    Sayles, RS
    Lecturer, Imperial College of Science and Technology, South Kensington, London,

    Macpherson, PB
    Head of Tribology, Westland Helicopters Ltd., Yeovil, Somerset,

    Committee/Subcommittee: A01.28

    DOI: 10.1520/STP36144S