Ball bearings’ rating life is reduced with the presence of hard particle contaminants in the lubricant. This life reduction is taken into account when calculating the modified rating life by using the contamination factor. The contamination factor is based on a general characterization of the lubrication conditions but the impact of contaminant’s variables such as size, hardness and concentration level is not determined in detail. In this work, greases contaminated with hard corundum (alumina, Al2O3) particles of different sizes are tested aiming at finding a pattern in the relationship between particle sizes’ and wear’s progress. A laboratory rig is utilized for these tests and vibration analysis tools regarding bearings’ condition and estimated residual life are being assessed. After the tests, optical inspections using a stereoscope verify the vibration analyses results. The experimental results show that wear is progressing faster when smaller particles are used. The crystalline structure of the corundum and the different degree of brittleness of the contaminants seem to be the reasons for this behavior, whereas severe abrasion and deformation of the raceways have been detected.
Cite this paper
Koulocheris, D. , Stathis, A. , Costopoulos, T. and Gyparakis, G. (2013) Comparative Study of the Impact of Corundum Particle Contaminants Size on Wear and Fatigue Life of Grease Lubricated Ball Bearings. Modern Mechanical Engineering
, 161-170. doi: 10.4236/mme.2013.34023
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