A suitable method for journal bearing wear measurement

Sharma, Subhash Chandra & Hargreaves, Doug (2014) A suitable method for journal bearing wear measurement. Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, 66(1), pp. 15-22.

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Purpose – Ideally, there is no wear in hydrodynamic lubrication regime. A small amount of wear occurs during start and stop of the machines and the amount of wear is so small that it is difficult to measure with accuracy. Various wear measuring techniques have been used where out-of-roundness was found to be the most reliable method of measuring small wear quantities in journal bearings. This technique was further developed to achieve higher accuracy in measuring small wear quantities. The method proved to be reliable as well as inexpensive. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – In an experimental study, the effect of antiwear additives was studied on journal bearings lubricated with oil containing solid contaminants. The test duration was too long and the wear quantities achieved were too small. To minimise the test duration, short tests of about 90 min duration were conducted and wear was measured recording changes in variety of parameters related to weight, geometry and wear debris. The out-of-roundness was found to be the most effective method. This method was further refined by enlarging the out-of-roundness traces on a photocopier. The method was proved to be reliable and inexpensive.

Findings – Study revealed that the most commonly used wear measurement techniques such as weight loss, roughness changes and change in particle count were not adequate for measuring small wear quantities in journal bearings. Out-of-roundness method with some refinements was found to be one of the most reliable methods for measuring small wear quantities in journal bearings working in hydrodynamic lubrication regime. By enlarging the out-of-roundness traces and determining the worn area of the bearing cross-section, weight loss in bearings was calculated, which was repeatable and reliable.

Research limitations/implications – This research is a basic in nature where a rudimentary solution has been developed for measuring small wear quantities in rotary devices such as journal bearings. The method requires enlarging traces on a photocopier and determining the shape of the worn area on an out-of-roundness trace on a transparency, which is a simple but a crude method. This may require an automated procedure to determine the weight loss from the out-of-roundness traces directly. This method can be very useful in reducing test duration and measuring wear quantities with higher precision in situations where wear quantities are very small.

Practical implications – This research provides a reliable method of measuring wear of circular geometry. The Talyrond equipment used for measuring the change in out-of-roundness due to wear of bearings indicates that this equipment has high potential to be used as a wear measuring device also. Measurement of weight loss from the traces is an enhanced capability of this equipment and this research may lead to the development of a modified version of Talyrond type of equipment for wear measurements in circular machine components.

Originality/value – Wear measurement in hydrodynamic bearings requires long duration tests to achieve adequate wear quantities. Out-of-roundness is one of the geometrical parameters that changes with progression of wear in a circular shape components. Thus, out-of-roundness is found to be an effective wear measuring parameter that relates to change in geometry. Method of increasing the sensitivity and enlargement of out-of-roundness traces is original work through which area of worn cross-section can be determined and weight loss can be derived for materials of known density with higher precision.

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ID Code: 88645
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Antiwear additives, Contaminant, Hydrodynamic lubrication, Journal bearings, Out-of-roundness, Wear measurement
DOI: 10.1108/ILT-06-2011-0104
ISSN: 0036-8792
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2015 01:02
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 01:02

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