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Rolling element bearing fault diagnostics using the blind deconvolution technique

Karimi, Mahdi (2006) Rolling element bearing fault diagnostics using the blind deconvolution technique. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Bearing failure is one of the foremost causes of breakdown in rotating machinery. Such failure can be catastrophic and can result in costly downtime. Bearing condition monitoring has thus played an important role in machine maintenance. In condition monitoring, the observed signal at a measurement point is often corrupted by extraneous noise during the transmission process. It is important to detect incipient faults in advance before catastrophic failure occurs. In condition monitoring, the early detection of incipient bearing signal is often made difficult due to its corruption by background vibration (noise). Numerous advanced signal processing techniques have been developed to detect defective bearing signals but with varying degree of success because they require a high Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), and the fault components need to be larger than the background noise. Vibration analyses in the time and frequency domains are commonly used to detect machinery failure, but these methods require a relatively high SNR. Hence, it is essential to minimize the noise component in the observed signal before post processing is conducted. In this research, detection of failure in rolling element bearing faults by vibration analysis is investigated. The expected time intervals between the impacts of faulty bearing components signals are analysed using the blind deconvolution technique as a feature extraction technique to recover the source signal. Blind deconvolution refers to the process of learning the inverse of an unknown channel and applying it to the observed signal to recover the source signal of a damaged bearing. The estimation time period between the impacts is improved by using the technique and consequently provides a better approach to identify a damaged bearing. The procedure to obtain the optimum inverse equalizer filter is addressed to provide the filter parameters for the blind deconvolution process. The efficiency and robustness of the proposed algorithm is assessed initially using different kinds of corrupting noises. The result show that the proposed algorithm works well with simulated corrupting periodic noises. This research also shows that blind deconvolution behaves as a notch filter to remove the noise components. This research involves the application of blind deconvolution technique with optimum equalizer design for improving the SNR for the detection of damaged rolling element bearings. The filter length of the blind equalizer needs to be adjusted continuously due to different operating conditions, size and structure of the machines. To determine the optimum filter length a simulation test was conducted with a pre-recorded bearing signal (source) and corrupted with varying magnitude noise. From the output, the modified Crest Factor (CF) and Arithmetic Mean (AM) of the recovered signal can be plotted versus the filter length. The optimum filter length can be selected by observation when the plot converges close to the pre-determined source feature value. The filter length is selected based on the CF and AM plots, and these values are stored in a data training set for optimum determination of filter length using neural network. A pre-trained neural network is designed to train the behaviour of the system to target the optimum filter length. The performance of the blind deconvolution technique was assessed based on kurtosis values. The capability of blind deconvolution with optimum filter length developed from the simulation studies was further applied in a life bearing test rig. In this research, life time testing is also conducted to gauge the performance of the blind deconvolution technique in detecting a growing potential failure of a new bearing which is eventually run to failure. Results from unseeded new bearing tests are different, because seeded defects have certain defect characteristic frequencies which can be used to track a specific damaged frequency component. In this test, the test bearing was set to operate continuously until failures occurred. The proposed technique was then applied to monitor the condition of the test bearing and a trend of the bearing life was established. The results revealed the superiority of the technique in identifying the periodic components of the bearing before final break-down of the test bearing. The results show that the proposed technique with optimum filter length does improve the SNR of the deconvolved signal and can be used for automatic feature extraction and fault classification. This technique has potential for use in machine diagnostics.

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ID Code: 16432
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Tan, Chit, Mathew, Joseph, Senadji, Bouchra, & Stapelberg, Rudolph
Keywords: rolling element, bearing fault, blind deconvolution technique
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Mahdi Karimi
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 14:03
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:47

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