SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 08 September 2020

Rolling Contact Fatigue Transformations in Aero Steels: The Effect of Temperature on Microstructural Decay


Bearing components undergo failure as a result of rolling contact fatigue (RCF), a prevalent issue in a range of applications including aero engines. RCF can be triggered by microstructural changes at the subsurface including the formation of white etching areas (WEAs), dark etching regions (DERs), and white etching bands (WEBs). For room temperature RCF, such microstructural alterations have been modelled with our recently proposed dislocation-assisted carbon migration theory, which is able to describe the occurrence of microstructural transitions reported in the literature over the last 70 years. This approach naturally incorporates temperature and rotational speed to describe microstructural decay and failure. The model is validated with the literature data available for aerospace bearings. It is shown that temperature-accelerated microstructural transitions and failure can be described with the proposed dislocation-assisted carbon migration theory. The shortcomings of this approach are outlined, and the need for new theory and experimental data is discussed.

Author Information

Liang, Xingzhong
Dept. of Engineering, Lancaster University, Lancaster, GB
Sykes, Finn
Dept. of Engineering, Lancaster University, Lancaster, GB
Rivera-Díaz-del-Castillo, Pedro
Dept. of Engineering, Lancaster University, Lancaster, GB
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Pages: 50–65
DOI: 10.1520/STP162320190073
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7693-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7692-8