# Rolling Contact Fatigue

### Revision for “Rolling Contact Fatigue” created on January 25, 2017 @ 17:01:46 [Autosave]

Title Rolling Contact Fatigue Rolling-contact fatigue (RCF) is defined as a failure or material removal driven by crack propagation caused by the near-surface alternating stress field.  It is typically considered that if a bearing is properly mounted, aligned, lubricated, maintained and not overloaded, then the material fails due to RCF [1]. RCF is also commonly observed in gears, camshaft mechanisms, and rail-wheel contacts and is considered being the most unavoidable failure in the rolling contacts. RCF may appear through subsurface originated spalling and/or surface originated pitting. The dominant mechanism depends on a number of factors, e.g., surface quality, lubricant cleanliness, material quality. Spalling occurs due to propagation of microcracks originated below the surface. The microcracks develop at material inhomogeneities (like inclusions) and propagate towards the surface. Smooth surfaces, abundance of the nonmetallic inclusions in the material, and absence of surface shear are the key factors to favor this failure mode. On the other hand, pitting occurs due to surface roughness, which acts as stress raisors and facilitate the crack initiation. Further it propagates at a shallow angle 15–30 deg to the surface and afterwards back towards the surface. This mechanisms is common for the sliding contacts with substantial surface to surface contacts. RCF differs from the classical fatigue due to several characteristic conditions [2]: 1. The state of stress in nonconformal contacts  is complex and multiaxial and governed by the Hertzian contact theory. 2. The loading history at a point below the surface is nonproportional; i.e., the stress components do not rise and fall with time in  the same proportion to each other; 3. There is a high hydrostatic stress component present in the case of nonconformal contacts. 4. The phenomenon of RCF occurs in a very small volume of stressed material. Typical contact sizes are of the order of 200–1000 $\mu m$. 5. Localized plastic deformation and development of residual stresses play crucial role in the fatigue damage, and the 3D modeling techniques to compute these quantities is important for calculation of RCF damage. TH These models can be classified into 1) probabilistic engineering models and 2) deterministic research models. The engineering models are largely empirical in nature and include variables that are obtained from extensive experimental testing. They do not directly consider the details of the constitutive behavior of  materials under contact loading, nor the residual stress and strain computations in the contact areas. The research models, on the other  hand, are theoretical in nature, require complete stress-strain behavior information for the materials in contacts, and are used in conjunction with a material failure model. However, these models are usually confined to a specific aspect of the failure process, e.g., only the crack initiation part or only the crack propagation part.   [1] Rolling Bearing Analysis: Essential Concepts of Bearing Technology, 5-th Edition, T.A. Harris, M.N.Kotzalas. [2] A Review of Rolling Contact Fatigue, Farshid Sadeghi et al., DOI: 10.1115/1.3209132 .

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January 25, 2017 @ 17:01:46 [Autosave] tribonet