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Monitoring of lubricant film failure in a ball bearing using ultrasound

Zhang, J., Drinkwater, B.W. and Dwyer-Joyce, R.S. (2006) Monitoring of lubricant film failure in a ball bearing using ultrasound. Journal of Tribology, 128 (3). pp. 612-618. ISSN 0742-4787

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A lubricant-film monitoring system for a conventional deep groove ball bearing (type 6016, shaft diameter 80 mm, ball diameter 12.7 mm) is described. A high-firequency (50 MHz) ultrasonic transducer is mounted on the static outer raceway of the bearing. The transducer is focused on the ball-raceway interface and used to measure the reflection coefficient of the lubricant in the "contact" ellipse between bearing components. The reflection coefficient characterizes the lubricant film and can be used to calculate its thickness. An accurate triggering system enables multiple reflection measurements to be made as each lubricated contact moves past the measurement location. Experiments are described in which bearings were deliberately caused to fail by the addition of acetone, water and sand to the lubricant. The ultrasonic reflection coefficient was monitored as a function of time as the failure occurred. Also monitored were the more standard parameters, temperature and vibration. The results indicate that the ultrasonic measurements are able to detect the failures before seizure. It is also observed that, when us,ed in parallel, these monitoring techniques offer the potential to diagnose the failure mechanism and hence improve predictions of remaining life.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright (c) 2006 American Society Mechanical Engineers. This is an author produced version of a paper published in ' Transactions- American Society of Mechanical Engineers Journal of Tribology '.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Department of Mechanical Engineering (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Christopher Hardwick
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:45
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:59
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.2197848
Status: Published
Publisher: American Society Mechanical Engineers
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1115/1.2197848
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9170

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