Tribology International, Vol. 81, pp. 291-299, 2015, DOI:

Failure Mechanisms of Ball Bearings Under Lightly Loaded, Non-Accelerated Usage Conditions

Hyunseok Oh 1, Michael H. Azarian 1, Carlos Morillo 1, Michael Pecht 1, and Edward Rhem 2
1CALCE, Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA
2Dell Inc., One Dell Way, Round Rock, TX, 78682, USA


This paper identifies the failure mechanisms of ball bearings in low-power motors for electronics cooling. This study contrasts with previous studies on bearing life in its precipitation of failures under lightly loaded,non-accelerated usage conditions that are more representative of electronics cooling applications. Life tests were conducted on bearings composed of steel balls,steel inner and outer races, and a glass-fiber reinforced polyamide cage.Failure analysis of the ball bearings indicated that lubricant loss, transfer film formation,and wear particle generation were the failure mechanisms.Severe wear was found in the glass-fiber reinforced polyamidecages after failure.Several features extracted from the acoustic emission signals were identified as indicators of bearing degradation.

This article is available online here and to CALCE Consortium Members for personal review.

[Home Page] [Articles Page]
Copyright © 2015 by CALCE and the University of Maryland, All Rights Reserved