Development of an Analytical Tool to Optimize Bearing Adjustment in Automotive Applications 2011-36-0092
Defining the proper assembly conditions for a bearing (i.e: hub bearing, or bearing in a powertrain) can become decisive for its durability. Traditionally, the adjustment and final setup was defined with a detailed definition of the interference between the different components of the bearing when assembled. This was done in order to guarantee the proper contact between the components under any working condition, and achieving the needed rolling torque.
This article describes in detail the use of virtual prototyping techniques in the calculation of the ideal adjustment (initial radial clearance or interference, axial preload, and bearing location), with the aim of optimizing the life of bearings, considering both the final application and its working conditions. The challenge of this activity lies in the development of an analytical tool, which optimizes this fitting at the design stage, and at the same time keeps a good correlation with the simulation (FEM) and experimental results.
Furthermore, using dynamic models of the bearing in parallel, provides the capability to predict rolling torque variations during service; all of this, at an earlier stage of the development process, prior to manufacturing or assembly.
The use of this technology enables the maximization of the life of the bearing for automotive applications, without the necessity of having the real parts in advance, and thus, shortening its design cycle.