Mapping of axial plastic zone for roller bearing overloads using neutron transmission imaging

A. Reid*, I. Martinez, M. Marshall, T. Minniti, S. Kabra, W. Kockelmann, T. Connolley, M. Mostafavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
316 Downloads (Pure)


Premature failure of wind turbine gearbox bearings is an ongoing concern for industry, with sudden overload events potentially contributing towards raceway damage, significantly hindering performance. Subsurface stresses generated along a line contact cause material yielding, and a probable crack initiation site. Currently, the ability to study subsurface plastic zone evolution using non-destructive techniques is limited. Neutron Bragg edge imaging is a novel technique, allowing for two-dimensional mapping of the Bragg edge broadening parameter, indicative of bulk plastic deformation. An experiment on the ENGIN-X strain scanning instrument, at the ISIS neutron source, UK, was setup for Bragg edge transmission imaging, to measure the effect of in situ loading on the raceway of a bearing, scaled-down from a traditional wind turbine gearbox bearing. Results demonstrate a strong correlation between load and the Bragg edge width, and allow for future experimental development in studying, not only the effect of overloads on fatigue life, but also the use of neutron imaging for evaluating plastic deformation in engineering components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials and Design
Early online date24 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018


  • Time-of-flight
  • Energy-dispersive imaging
  • Bragg edge imaging
  • Neutron radiography
  • Bearing overload
  • Subsurface plasticity


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