In order to gain detailed insight into the processes taking place during rolling contact fatigue (RCF) and rolling contact wear, the test machine used must be closely controllable and offer comprehensive data collection facilities. This paper describes a machine that has been developed to offer these facilities over a wide range of test conditions, and that has the facility for the early detection of cracks by an eddy current method.
An existing twin-disk contact simulation machine has been comprehensively updated to enhance the range of tests possible and, most importantly, to offer close control over very short numbers of machine cycles, allowing the very early stages of the development of fatigue cracks and wear damage to be examined. Results of tests to examine the capabilities of the rebuilt machine and a study of the repeatability of results under two particular test conditions are presented.
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