Knowledge

Welcome to our knowledge centre. Here you can find a selection of resources and articles on our products and industries we are involved with.

Paper

The Influence of Sliding and Contact Severity on the Generation of White Etching Cracks

White etching cracks (WECs) have been identified as the dominant mechanism of premature failure for bearings within wind turbine gearboxes. …

White etching cracks (WECs) have been identified as the dominant mechanism of premature failure for bearings within wind turbine gearboxes. Though WECs have been observed in the field for over a decade, the exact mechanisms which lead to this failure are still debated, and benchtop replication has proven difficult. In previously published work, WECs have been replicated only through the use of component level test rigs, where complete bearings are tested. In these tests, the factors that are thought to drive the formation of WECs, such as slide-to-roll ratio (SRR) and lubricant film thickness, cannot not be easily altered or controlled. In this paper, WECs have been replicated on a three ring on roller, benchtop test rig, which allowed for a direct investigation into the influence that SRR magnitude, sliding direction, and the lubricant film thickness have on surface failures and WEC generation. It was determined that WECs were formed in samples that experienced −30 % SRR at various lubrication conditions; however, at lower levels of negative SRR and positive SRR up to 30 %, no white etching cracks were observed.


Keywords: White etching cracks, Wind turbine gearbox bearings, Bearing failures, Microstructural alterations

View abstract

View paper

Paper

The Effect of Poly(alkyl methacrylate) Film-Formers on Pitting Performance of Driveline Fluids

Driven by diminishing fossil fuel resources, global warming and subsequently rigid legislation on CO2 emission, fuel economy is a major …

Driven by diminishing fossil fuel resources, global warming and subsequently rigid legislation on CO2 emission, fuel economy is a major challenge for the automotive industry. Each element of the powertrain has been optimized or newly designed to increase efficiency. In this optimization process the engine oils and transmission fluids are important design elements and their contribution to improved efficiency is significant. Polyalkylmethacrylates (PAMAs) are widely used as viscosity index improvers in engine, transmission and hydraulic oils. They have been shown to adsorb from oil solution onto metal surfaces to produce thick and viscous boundary films. These films are maintained even in low speed and high temperature conditions and thus produce a reduction of friction and wear. It was found that specifically designed film-forming PAMAs can improve pitting performance of lubricant formulations. The paper describes the impact of tailor-made functionalized PAMAs on boundary film formation and explores their ability to increase the fatigue life of lubricants.


Keywords: Polyalkylmethacrylates, viscosity index improvers, film-former, fatigue life, pitting

View abstract

View paper

Paper

Effects of Black Oxide and a WC/a-C:H Coating on the Micropitting of SAE 52100 Bearing Steel

In this study, the capabilities of a WC/a-C:H coating and a black oxide surface treatment to affect the onset of …

In this study, the capabilities of a WC/a-C:H coating and a black oxide surface treatment to affect the onset of micropitting in SAE 52100 bearing steel are examined. Experiments are conducted in which three pairs of contacts (steel on steel, black oxide on black oxide and steel on WC/a-C:H), and three sliding-to-rolling ratios of −10, 0 and +10 % are tested at high contact stress and in a low Λ regime. Results reveal that the WC/a-C:H coating can dramatically increase the micropitting resistance of the coated part, achieving a much higher number of contact cycles and higher levels of contact stress than the steel-on-steel contact. On the other hand, it is found that black oxide surface treatments provide no improvement in micropitting resistance over untreated steel–steel contacts. Specimens tested at the higher slide-to-roll ratios have lower rates of wear with the black oxide surface treatment than with the untreated steel–steel contacts.


Keywords: Micropitting, Wear, Diamond-like carbon, Black oxide

View abstract

View paper

Paper

An Experimental Study of Micropitting, using a New Miniature Test-rig

A miniature three-contact disc machine was employed to reproduce micropitting under controlled condition and study the effect of lubricant composition …

A miniature three-contact disc machine was employed to reproduce micropitting under controlled condition and study the effect of lubricant composition on the phenomenon. In this preliminary work, a PAO base stock was tested on its own and with a ZDDP anti-wear additive. Micropitting only occurred when the ZDDP was present. During the tests, the roughness of the counterface was found to decline gradually. When the ZDDP was present, the roughness declined more slowly. The results suggest that certain anti-wear additives may be detrimental to micropitting resistance simply because they prevent wear rather than by any direct influence on micropitting.


View abstract

View paper

Paper

Metallic Wear Debris Sensors: Promising Developments in Failure Prevention for Wind Turbine Gearsets and Similar Components

Wind turbines are frequently located in remote, hard-to-reach locations, making it difficult to apply traditional oil analysis sampling of the …

Wind turbines are frequently located in remote, hard-to-reach locations, making it difficult to apply traditional oil analysis sampling of the machine's critical gearset at timely intervals. Metal detection sensors are excellent candidates for sensors designed to monitor machine condition in vivo . Remotely sited components, such as wind turbines, therefore, can be comfortably monitored from a distance. Online sensor technology has come of age with products now capable of identifying onset of wear in time to avoid or mitigate failure. Online oil analysis is now viable, and can be integrated with onsite testing to vet sensor alarms, as well as traditional oil analysis, as furnished by offsite laboratories. Controlled laboratory research data were gathered from tests conducted on a typical wind turbine gearbox, wherein total ferrous particle measurement and metallic particle counting were employed and monitored. The results were then compared with a physical inspection for wear experienced by the gearset. The efficacy of results discussed herein strongly suggests the viability of metallic wear debris sensors in today's wind turbine gearsets, as correlation between sensor data and machine trauma were very good. By extension, similar components and settings would also seem amenable to wear particle sensor monitoring. To our knowledge no experiments such as described herein, have previously been conducted and published.


Keywords: Particles, Sensors, Wind turbine technology, Analytical research, Inspection, Teeth, Metals

View abstract

View paper

Paper

Thermal Behaviour of a Slipping Wet Clutch Contact

Wet clutches are used in automatic transmissions to enable gear changes and also to reduce energy loss in the torque …

Wet clutches are used in automatic transmissions to enable gear changes and also to reduce energy loss in the torque converter. These friction devices are susceptible to stick–slip effects, which result in the vehicle giving an unsteady ride. Stick–slip effects can be avoided by ensuring the wet clutch and lubricant combination produces a friction coefficient that increases with sliding speed. Although wet clutches have been studied throughout the industry for many decades, the mechanism of the generated friction is still not fully understood. It is known that, because of the fibrous nature and thus very large roughness of friction material, the overall contact between clutch plates actually consists of many small, independent, contact units, which are the sites of the generated friction. Some authors have suggested that a temperature rise due to friction either at these contact units or of the overall clutch plate may be important in controlling friction behaviour. In this study, the flash temperatures at the contact units formed in the wet clutch contact have been measured using an infrared camera. Three friction materials have been tested. It was found that measured flash temperature in a pure sliding system similar to that present in a slipping clutch remain well below 5 °C, and are therefore unlikely to play a major role in the observed friction-speed dependency of slipping wet clutches at speeds below 2 m/s.


Keywords: Clutches, Automatic transmission fluids, Boundary lubrication thermal effects

View abstract

View paper

Paper

Film-Forming Additives – Direct and Indirect Ways to Reduce Friction

The main role of a lubricant is to form a protective, low shear strength film between rubbing surfaces and thereby …

The main role of a lubricant is to form a protective, low shear strength film between rubbing surfaces and thereby reduce friction and surface damage. The science, or art, of both the lubricant and the mechanical designer is to develop combinations of lubricant and mechanical system best able to form such films. This task is not straightforward since modern technology is continually demanding lower friction and better protection over an ever-widening range of operating conditions. Furthermore, environmental concerns are also producing both design constraints and the need for rapid change.

The aim of this paper is to show how progress is being made by experimental research which looks inside rubbing contacts to see how lubricants behave therein. The paper focuses on concentrated contacts, as found in gears, cams and rolling element bearings, and describes a number of techniques for probing such contacts to observe just how a range of lubricant types, from greases to emulsions, behave in such contacts to reduce friction and form films.


View abstract

View paper

Paper

Laser-induced Fluorescence for Film Thickness Mapping in Pure Sliding Lubricated, Compliant Contacts

A laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) technique has been used to measure fluid film thickness in a compliant, sliding contact under low-load/low-pressure …

A laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) technique has been used to measure fluid film thickness in a compliant, sliding contact under low-load/low-pressure conditions. The soft contact between an elastomer hemisphere and a glass disc is lubricated by a liquid containing fluorescent dye. The contact is then illuminated with 532 nm laser light through the glass disc, and viewed with a fluorescence microscope. From the intensity of emitted radiation, film thickness maps of the contact are determined. Previous calibration procedures have used a separate calibration piece and test specimen with possible errors due to differences in reflectivity between the calibration and test specimens. In the work reported in this paper a new calibration process is employed using the actual test sample, thereby avoiding such errors.

Results are reported for a sliding contact between PDMS and glass, lubricated with glycerol and water solutions under fully flooded and starved conditions. It was found that, for glycerol, the measured film thickness is somewhat lower than numerical predictions for both lubrication conditions. It is suggested that a combination of thermal effects and the hygroscopic nature of glycerol may cause the lubricant viscosity to drop resulting in thinner films than those predicted for fully flooded contacts. Starvation occurs above a critical entrainment speed and results in considerably thinner films than predicted by fully flooded I-EHL theory. A numerical study has been carried out to determine the effect of the observed starvation on film thickness. Predicted, starved film thickness values agree well with those obtained experimentally.


Keywords: Film thickness, Compliant contact, Fluorescence, Starvation

View abstract

View paper

Paper

Inlet Protein Aggregation: A New Mechanism for Lubricating Film Formation with Model Synovial Fluids

This paper reports a fundamental study of lubricant film formation with model synovial fluid components (proteins) and bovine serum (BS). …

This paper reports a fundamental study of lubricant film formation with model synovial fluid components (proteins) and bovine serum (BS). The objective was to investigate the role of proteins in the lubrication process. Film thickness was measured by optical interferometry in a ball-on-disc device (mean speed range of 2-60 mm/s). A commercial cobalt-chromium (CoCrMo) metal femoral head was used as the stationary component. The results for BS showed complex time-dependent behaviour, which was not representative of a simple fluid. After a few minutes sliding BS formed a thin adherent film of 10-20 nm, which was attributed to protein absorbance at the surface. This layer was augmented by a hydrodynamic film, which often increased at slow speeds. At the end of the test deposited surface layers of 20-50 nm were measured. Imaging of the contact showed that at slow speeds an apparent 'phase boundary' formed in the inlet just in front of the Hertzian zone. This was associated with the formation of a reservoir of high-viscosity material that periodically moved through the contact forming a much thicker film. The study shows that proteins play an important role in the film-forming process and current lubrication models do not capture these mechanism.


Keywords: Artificial hip joint, synovial fluid, boundary lubrication, CoCrMo alloy

View abstract

View paper