International Congress on Condition Monitoring and Diagnostic Engineering Management edition:25 location:Huddersfield date:18 - 20 June 2012
Accurate prediction of the lifetime of rolling element bearings is a crucial step towards a reliable design of many rotating machines. Recent research emphasizes an important influence of external dynamic loads on the lifetime of bearings. However, most lifetime calculations of bearings are based on the classical ISO 281 standard, neglecting this influence. For bearings subjected to highly varying loads, this leads to inaccurate estimations of the lifetime, and therefore excessive safety factors during the design and unexpected failures during operation. This paper presents a novel test rig, developed to analyse the behaviour of rolling element bearings subjected to highly varying loads. Since bearings are very precise machine components, their motion can only be measured in an accurately controlled environment. Otherwise, noise from other components and external influences such as temperature variations will dominate the measurements. The test rig is optimised to perform accurate measurements of the bearing behaviour. Also, the test bearing is fitted in a modular structure, which guarantees precise mounting and allows testing different types and sizes of bearings. Finally, a fully controlled multi-axial static and dynamic load is imposed on the bearing, while its behaviour is monitored with capacitive proximity probes.