A Fatigue Life Assessment Methodology for Rolling-Element Bearing Under Irregular Loading
The paper presents a methodology for estimating the fatigue life of rolling-element bearing under irregular loading conditions. This method overcomes the limitations encountered by rolling-element bearing lifing models based on a constant bearing load assumption, when used in applications where bearing load varies over time with also changes in rotational speed. To include these irregular loading effects, a load-slice averaging methodology is applied to the loading history; in which the loading history is assumed to be composed of many thin slices of loading conditions. The operating conditions within each loading slice are averaged, and with the aid of linear damage rule and Lundberg-Palmgren load-life correlation for rolling-element bearings, each loading slice fatigue damage contribution is determined. The cumulative loading slice fatigue damage is used to estimate rolling-element bearing life. This approach can also be used as a tool for real-time life prognosis of rolling-element bearings. The method is demonstrated with simulated loading histories acting on a Cooper split cylindrical roller bearing and life prediction comparison is made between several approximate closed form bearing life expressions for different types of loading.