Fatigue Life Characteristics of Ball Bearings Made from Vacuum Refined Steel 650698

Ball bearing life ratings are being revised upwards to reflect in part, at least, the contribution that vacuum refined steel has made towards extending fatigue life. In this paper, typical fatigue test results at several Hertz stresses are presented for ball bearings made from SAE 52100 steel, vacuum treated both by the stream degassing process and by the D-H process. Life increases of three times present standard theoretical ratings and higher are reported and discussed. Testing-equipment and procedures are also described. In conclusion, the paper cautions against the indiscriminate use of laboratory generated fatigue life improvements in selecting ball bearings for commercial applications.


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