Measurement of Strain Evolution in Overloaded Roller Bearings using Time-of-Flight Neutron Diffraction

A Reid, M Marshall, I Martinez, S Moorby, T. Connolley, Mahmoud Mostafavi, S. Kabra

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

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Neutron diffraction is an established method for non-destructively characterising residual stress or observing in situ strain during external stimuli. Neutron based stroboscopic techniques have previously been introduced for measuring strains undergoing cyclic processes but have not been used for tribological applications. This work presents a novel approach for measuring the evolution of radial strain in a rotating bearing through part of the component’s lifetime. A cylindrical roller bearing was pre-overloaded to increase the probability of damage within a reasonable experimental time and to help develop further understanding of the influence such events have on bearing life, notably for the application of wind turbine gearbox bearing failure. The stroboscopic neutron diffraction technique was successful in measuring time-resolved contact strain, with a significant increase in compressive radial strain being observed after a suspected failure had been detected using condition monitoring techniques, implemented for validating damage propagation. Cyclic contact strains associated with rolling contact fatigue were also evaluated using neutron diffraction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108571
Number of pages14
JournalMaterials and Design
Volume190 (2020)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Feb 2020


  • neutron diffraction
  • stroboscopic strain
  • rolling contact fatigue
  • bearing overload


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