Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 575–580 | Cite as

Electrical Fluting Failure of a Tri-Lobe Roller Bearing

  • Tomasz Didenko
  • Wesley D. Pridemore
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


A tri-lobe cylindrical roller bearing possessing excellent orbital slippage resistance was submitted to GE-Poland Materials Laboratory for examination of uniformly spaced axial fluting damages observed on both the rollers and outer raceway surfaces. The bearing was fabricated from premium-melted M50 and M50NiL commonly used in aircraft quality bearings. Detailed investigation of the raceway and rollers revealed a high density of microcraters associated with local melting and material removal attributed to passage of electrical current through the bearing during operation. The effect of the electrical discharge on crater dimensions and density based on a thermoelectric phenomenon is discussed in this article.


Electrical fluting Electrical erosion Tri-lobe bearing Cylindrical bearing 


  1. 1.
    Koyo Ball & Roller Bearings: Failures, causes and countermeasures. Accessed 27 July 2012
  2. 2.
    RP newswire: Surface coating, ceramic rolling elements reduce bearing failure.,-ceramic-rolling-elements-reduce-bearing-failure. Accessed 27 July 2012
  3. 3.
    Weigand, M.: Lubrication of rolling bearings—technical solutions for critical running conditions. Accessed 27 July 2012
  4. 4.
    SAE AMS Index: Aerospace material specifications, July (2001)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    ASTM E, 407-99: Standard Practice for Microetching Metals and Alloys. ASTM, West Conshohocken (1999)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    König, W., Klocke, F.: Fertigungsverfahren 3: Abtragen Und Generieren, vol. 3. Springer, Berlin (1997)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials & Process Engineering DepartmentGE AviationWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Materials & Process Engineering DepartmentGE AviationCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations