FE Based Steering Bearing Design Optimization for Angular Contact Ball Bearings 2016-32-0025
In two wheelers the front suspension system is mounted on chassis by two steering bearings which are lubricated ball type angular contact bearings with significant radial force components. These bearings are designed to withstand maximum vehicle loads for target durability. Maximum load carrying capacity depends on the number and size of the balls, bearing size and material. For target durability with designed load carrying capacity, the ball contact pressure, bearing preload plays a major role as compared to other design parameters. Geometry parameters and maximum load defines contact pressure for given bearing design. But in two wheelers due to nature of usage and road conditions, the peak loads are dynamic and geometry based design calculations may not yield the most optimal bearing design. In this work the bearing ball race profile design is optimized by using dynamic bearing contact profiles by using nonlinear Finite Element Analysis. The bearing cone and cup designs are optimized along with dynamic ball profiles. Effect of bearing preload for various designs is studied by finite element analysis. Finite element results are correlated with experimental test results for critical parameters. Critical failure modes are discussed with experimental results for base design and optimized design. Also design sensitivity analysis is carried out on critical parameters and achieved an optimal steering bearing design.