Ring crack propagation in silicon nitride under rolling contact

Authors: Wang, Y. and Hadfield, M.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V5B-4471T56-19&_user=1682380&_coverDate=10%2F31%2F2001&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000011378&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1682380&md5=c3c4576f4c36bb563ac4dbf3bb7c00f2

Journal: Wear

Volume: 250

Pages: 289-292

ISSN: 0043-1648

DOI: 10.1016/S0043-1648(01)00592-0

Silicon nitride has been found to have the optimum combination of properties which are suitable for rolling element bearing applications to withstand high loads, severe environments, and high speeds. Surface ring cracks are difficult to detect but are found on the surface of silicon nitride balls. These ring crack defects decrease the rolling contact fatigue life considerably. This paper presents an experimental study and numerical analysis of ring crack propagation in rolling contact. The contribution of this study is to provide understanding of ring crack propagation behaviour and life prediction in rolling contact. Rolling contact tests are performed on the silicon nitride/steel elements. Silicon nitride ball surfaces are examined before testing using a dye-penetrant technique and optical microscopy. The surfaces are examined using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy during testing and after failure. The numerical calculations are based on a 3D model of ring crack growth. The rolling contact loading is simulated by a repeated Hertzian surface load with normal pressure and tangential traction. Fracture mechanics analysis is utilised to determine the stress intensity along the crack front and the stress intensity factors are analysed using a 3D boundary element model. Life predictions from the present calculations are in line with the experimental observations.

This source preferred by Mark Hadfield

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Authors: Wang, Y. and Hadfield, M.

Journal: Wear

Volume: 250-251

Issue: PART 1

Pages: 282-292

ISSN: 0043-1648

DOI: 10.1016/S0043-1648(01)00592-0

Silicon nitride has been found to have the optimum combination of properties which are suitable for rolling element bearing applications to withstand high loads, severe environments, and high speeds. Surface ring cracks are difficult to detect but are found on the surface of silicon nitride balls. These ring crack defects decrease the rolling contact fatigue life considerably. This paper presents an experimental study and numerical analysis of ring crack propagation in rolling contact. The contribution of this study is to provide understanding of ring crack propagation behaviour and life prediction in rolling contact. Rolling contact tests are performed on the silicon nitride/steel elements. Silicon nitride ball surfaces are examined before testing using a dye-penetrant technique and optical microscopy. The surfaces are examined using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy during testing and after failure. The numerical calculations are based on a 3D model of ring crack growth. The rolling contact loading is simulated by a repeated Hertzian surface load with normal pressure and tangential traction. Fracture mechanics analysis is utilised to determine the stress intensity along the crack front and the stress intensity factors are analysed using a 3D boundary element model. Life predictions from the present calculations are in line with the experimental observations. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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