Influence of lubricant material in the point contact zone of rolling friction on fatigue life for friction bearing units
Keywords:Point contact zone, fatigue life, bearing units, elastohydrodynamic (EHD) lubrication, lubricant material (lubricant), rheological and tribotechnical properties, rolling friction
Although lubrication is necessary for the satisfactory operation of rolling bearings, the effect of lubricant on the fatigue life of the bearing has not been sufficiently studied. In recent times, the theory of elastohydrodynamic (EHD) lubrication  has been used to explain the different effects of lubricants. According to this theory, the thickness of the lubricating layer separating the moving elements of the bearing is determined by the viscosity-pressure dependence of the lubricant. The contact of surface micron irregularities does not occur if it is possible to maintain a sufficient thickness of the lubricating layer - in this case, the long-term durability of the bearing is ensured. If the film thickness is reduced to a level where surface irregularities are encountered, the fatigue life rapidly decreases with increasing contact frequency. In any case, a comprehensive calculation methodology is needed that would allow to take into account the influence of lubricant on the fatigue life of bearing units.
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