Evaluation of rolling contact fatigue resistance for coated components
The thesis reviews and studies current evaluation mechanisms, techniques and machines for testing rolling contact fatigue failure resistance and load capacity of coated components. The thesis investigates both normal and accelerated rolling contact fatigue evaluation test mechanisms and their models, and evaluation test technique principles suitable to the appraisal of coated bearing components. A major contribution of the thesis is the design and development of a new rolling contact fatigue evaluation test machine for coated components. Tests of the rolling contact fatigue of coated bearing raceways under the oil lubricant, grease lubricant and no lubricant conditions, applying the new rolling contact fatigue evaluation mechanisms, evaluation technique principles and the new test machine, have been performed. The accelerated rolling contact fatigue tests of the coated bearing raceways use SiC powder in the oil lubricant. The new rolling contact fatigue test machine has been found suitable for evaluating the rolling contact fatigue resistance of components with superhard coatings. The accelerated rolling contact fatigue test method has been shown to give comparable rolling contact fatigue test results to those obtained in a normal rolling contact fatigue test, while being much faster. In the fatigue test, the cyclic maximum shear stress produces an initial fatigue crack near the substrate surface of the test bearing raceways. The observed phenomena are consistent with theory, although the location of the initial crack is much closer to the surface than would be predicted by a 'static' Hertzian analysis. Insufficient traction forces on the contact surface between the rolling elements of a test coated bearing makes gross skidding occur, leading to rapid wear, over-heating and final failure of the test coated bearing. The LSO fatigue life of the test coated bearing raceway tends to decrease with increase of the coating thickness and coating hardness of the test coated bearing raceway.