Towards efficient spall generation simulation in rolling element bearing

D. Gazizulin, R. Klein, J. Bortman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Rolling element bearing prognosis is the process of forecasting the remaining operational life, future condition or probability of failure of the bearing. While operational, bearings are subjected to rolling contact fatigue (RCF), and, as a result, a spall is generated on the raceway of the bearing. Complete understanding of the fatigue process is critical for predictive modelling to estimate bearing remaining useful life, which allows improved scheduling of maintenance actions. This work presents an RCF model that was implemented using abaqus finite element software. The RCF model is based on a damage mechanics approach that relates the accumulated microscopic failure mechanisms to a damage state variable and includes representation of material grain structure by a Poisson–Voronoi tessellation. Different microstructures, with a variety of material properties and grain topologies, were constructed for simulation purposes. The geometry of the simulated spalls and the Weibull slopes of the fatigue lives are in good agreement with published theoretical and experimental data. It can be concluded that the assumptions and the simplifications of the current, convenient to use, RCF model yield a sufficiently accurate tool on the basis of previous publications and experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1405
Number of pages17
JournalFatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Hertzian contact
  • Poisson–Voronoi tessellation
  • Rolling contact fatigue (RCF)
  • microstructure
  • rolling elements bearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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