Conference Dates

May 29-June 3, 2016


In rolling and ball bearings, materials are designed to withstand extremely high loads for long operation times. Most bearing steels are hardened steels with high carbon content that typically can function up to the Very High Cycle Fatigue regime (>1010 load cycles). The loads under which this occurs are given by the fatigue limit, which is a parameter that does depend on the strength of the material, but is commonly seen as a fixed parameter Therefore, material weakening is playing an important role when components fail as a result of rolling contact fatigue loading. In this paper, the effects of corrosion and hydrogen generation on the material weakening of hardened ball bearing steels are described. The results of corrosion exposure tests, fatigue tests with corrosion and tests with increased hydrogen levels in steel on mechanical properties will be presented. The role of hydrogen in bearing steel will be discussed on basis of the atomistic processes that play a role in rolling contact fatigue.

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