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F. K.

Professor e-mail:

J. Zhou
Former Graduate Student

Vibration Monitoring and Damage Quantication of Faulty Ball Bearings

More often than not, the rolling element bearings in rotating machinery are the mechanical components that are rst prone to premature failure. Early warning of an impending bearing failure is vital to the safety and reliability of high-speed turbomachinery. Presently, vibration monitoring is one of the most applied procedures in on-line damage and failure monitoring of rolling element bearings. This paper presents results from an experimental rotor-bearing test rig with quantied damage induced in the supporting rolling element bearings. Both good and damaged radial and tapered ball bearings are used in this study. The vibration signatures due to damage at the ball elements and the inner race of the bearing are also examined. Vibration signature analyzing schemes such as frequency domain analysis, and chaotic vibration analysis (modied Poincare diagrams) are applied and their effectiveness in pinpoint damage are compared in this study. The size/level of the damage is corroborated with the vibration amplitudes to provide quantication criteria for bearing progressive failure prediction. Based on the results from this study, it is shown that the use of the modied Poincare map, based on the relative carrier speed, can provide an effective way for identication and quantication of bearing damage in rolling element bearings. DOI: 10.1115/1.2033899

M. J. Braun
Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3903

L. Wang
Sr. Research Engineer B&C Engineering Associates, Inc. Akron, OH 44311


Bearing failures often come from excessive wear or damage in rolling ball elements as well as in the inner/outer races of the bearing. The failure of components in the rolling element bearing support systems is one of the most signicant factors in the everincreasing ight safety incidents and the cost of maintenance programs. At times, small faults in the bearing system can quickly develop into a life-threatening failure without any notable warnings. In September of 2002, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA has announced its plans in issuing an Airworthiness Directive involving a staggering 1740 Robinson helicopters, one of the most popular helicopters in operation around the world. The FAA action was prompted by the lubrication failure of the tail rotor bearing causing breakup and loss of control. Three times within a period of 18 months from 1999 to 2001, the U.S. Army has grounded its entire worldwide eet of 742 Boeing-built Apache AH-64 attack helicopters due to catastrophic failures of the tail rotor bearing. In addition, a large number of bearing failure problems were also found in petrochemical and power production industries where continuous noninterrupted operation until scheduled shutdown are often necessary. Presently current condition monitoring systems for bearing systems often fail to provide sufcient time between warning and failure so that safety procedures can be implemented. On the other hand, inaccurate interpretation of operational conditions may result in false alarms and unnecessary costly repairs and downtime. Today, vibration signature analysis of machine components 112 is one of the most commonly used fault detection procedures used in high-speed rotor-bearing systems. Traditional signature analysis procedures using both time signal and frequency or joint time-frequency analysis showed considerable success 26 in detecting gear failures in a transmission system. Some work has been performed using fast Fourier transform in identifying single or multiple damages located in the races of rolling element bearings. However, very little work has been found to pinpoint accuContributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript receieved: June 10, 2005; nal manuscript received: July 5, 2005 Review conducted by: Michael D. Bryant

rately the locations and severity of the wear and/or damage 11. Particularly, if the damage is in the ball element, the vibration signals become chaotic in the direction of the rotation of the ball element, and, at times, the damage cannot be detected using the traditional frequency/time-frequency signature analysis methods 11. Due to the unpredictable rotation of the ball element, the damage location may or may not make contact with the bearing races during the sampling period. While the use of chaotic vibration analysis had been rst performed by Ehrich 12 in the early seventies, its full application in identifying and quantifying ball bearing damage had not been fully investigated. The chaotic dynamics of the system resulted from the random motion of the damaged ball rotating freely in all directions. This behavior is quite nonrepeatable in nature and will result in a highly nonperiodic type of vibration signature. Using the statistical approach developed in chaotic vibration analysis 1316, the modied Poincare map the use of Poincare map has been shown to be effective in identifying faults in some cases is used in this study to identify and quantify damage in bearings based on the experimental data acquired from bearing with induced damage. The results from the experimental investigations show that the modied Poincare map not only can provide an exact pinpointing of the damage, but it also gives an accurate quantication of the damage level in a rolling element bearing.

Description of the Experimental Investigations

The study of damage identication and remaining life prognosis for a ball bearing is carried out with a high speed bearing test rig as shown in Fig. 1. The test shaft is driven by a variable speed electric motor with the test bearing installed on the right hand side the belt side of the installation. The rotor angular velocity is 4800 rpm or 80 Hz and the vibration data is acquired through a set of accelerometers, located at the vertical and horizontal directions of the faulty bearing support, connected to a personal computer based high-speed analog-to-digital data acquisition board sampling at 10k Hz. Both the rotor speed and bearing carrier speed are measured using optical encoders. The sampling rate of the vibration data is set to be 5000 samples per revolution of the rotor as determined by the optical encoder. Vibration signals for a Transactions of the ASME

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Fig. 3 Photo of damaged 11-ball taper bearing with inner race damage

Fig. 1 Photo of the high-speed ball bearing test rig

window of approximately 2000 revolutions are acquired each time and stored in the computer for fault identication through vibration signature analysis. The rst set of tests was performed with a radial ball bearing that contains an eight-ball rolling assembly. The series of tests performed are shown in Table 1. During this rst set of tests, the ball bearing on the motor side was kept intact while on the pulley side no radial load is applied on the bearing for this set of experiment we used a healthy eight-ball bearing, a bearing with damage at the inner race as shown in Fig. 2a, and a bearing with damage in one of the eight balls as shown in Fig. 2b. The level of damage induced in the bearing for the rst set of tests is relaTable 1 List of bearing characteristics and experimental cases studied

tive large in order to provide a consistent comparison between the fault identication procedures using frequency analysis and the modied Poincare maps. The second set of tests is similar, and is using a set of ve tapered ball bearings with various degrees of surface damage. The levels of damage used in this case is relative smaller than those of the rst set and a constant axial load is applied for all cases at the inner race as outlined in Table 1. The photos of the bearing conguration and the damage location at the inner race are given in Figs. 3a and 3b, respectively. Figure 4 depicts graphically the overall mapping and quantication of the damage to tapered ball bearing inner race, as the damage magnitude is gradually increased by manually grinding a deeper/wider notch in each bearings inner race.

Vibration Signature Analysis Procedures

Fig. 2 Photo of the damaged bearing a inner race damage and b ball element damage

The frequency spectral analysis is based on the numerical fast Fourier transform of the original time signal and provides an average estimation of the excited frequency components during the sampling window used in the analysis. A 1024 point-transform to provide a resolution of approximately 10 Hz per spectral line in the frequency spectrum was used on the time data to examine its frequency contents for several time windows, on the same test. Due to the chaotic motion rotational direction of the ball elements, it was found that, the damage of the ball element can be detected in the frequency spectrum if the damage location on the ball element makes contact with the bearing race during the sampled time window interval. Otherwise, if there is no contact of the damage area with the bearing race during the sampling period, the damage in the ball element cannot be observed in that time window period. Frequency domain results acquired from different time windows of the same experiment will be discussed in the next section. The use of chaotic vibration in analyzing damage contact problems in rotating machinery for nonsynchronous vibration components was rst performed in detail by Ehrich 12 and Moon 13. The chaotic dynamics resulted from the bearing surface damage in the ball element is quite similar to the contact problem between two component surfaces in a nonrepeatable nature. As the ball element is allowed to rotate freely, the contact of the damaged location with the inner or outer races is quite random in nature and results in a highly nonperiodic type of vibration signature. Using the statistical approach developed for chaotic vibration analysis, a Poincare map can be produced and the average phase and amplitude of vibration at a certain point can be determined for a certain repeating periodic time using one complete revolution of the shaft or the ball carrier. Based on the principles of the Poincare map, a time sequenced data of xt1 , xt2 , , xtn , , xtN is recorded, and, representing xtn by xn, data point xn+1 can be determined by the values of xn such that xn+1 = f xn 1

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Fig. 4 Damage measurement of taper ball bearing Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4

If a moving particle is displayed in the phase plane as t, one can represents the motion discretely in a plot using xt , x tn. This sequence of points forms a two dixn = xtn and y n = x mensional map of xn+1 = f xn,y n and y n+1 = gxn,y n 3 2

A Poincare map is generated when the sampling time tn is chosen according to a specic position. Using a sampling period equals to the time period of the rotor speed, we can obtain the Poincare map at a specic angle position. For a series of vibration data collected over N cycles of revolutions, one obtains N points of data in the Poincare map. The average amplitude of these points is calculated as d ave =

Applying this procedure repeatedly to different points using the shaft rotational speed, or the relative carrier to the shaft rotation speed with a large number of vibration data points, a statistical representation of the vibration signature for each shaft/carrier revolution can be generated. In the modied Poincare map using the shaft speed, each position of shaft motion, from 0 to 360, is generated. A series of Poincare maps are obtained for every shaft position and then used to construct the modied Poincare map for shaft rotational speed. The modied Poincare map for the relative carrier speed is generated in a similar way with the vibration data obtained from a complete revolution based on the relative carrier speed. After normalizing the amplitude and phase of the vibration signatures, a modied Poincare map of the rotor-bearing system vibration can be constructed.

i i=1

Discussions of Results

and the maximum amplitude of these points can be calculated as

= Maximumd1, d2, , dN dmax

5 6

2 = xn + y 2 dn n

To perform a system overall vibration signature analysis when damage/wear is induced in the bearing, vibration data from accelerometers is collected for a a bearing with no faults, b a bearing with damage at the inner race, Fig. 2a, and c bearing with damage in the ball element, Fig. 2b. The accelerometers signals for each of the three cases are acquired at several different time windows as to conrm their validity. Typical frequency spectra of the vibration signals for each one of the three cases are shown in Fig. 5. For the case with no damage, Fig. 5a, there is practically no excited frequency component at the system natural frequency Transactions of the ASME

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Fig. 5 Frequency spectra of good and damaged ball bearings

of about 3000 Hz. Only a very small frequency component is detected at the ball pass frequency of 640 Hz eight ball elements rotating at 80 Hz. For the case of inner race damage, Fig. 5b, some large frequency components around the system natural frequency are detected range of 23003000 Hz. A sizable component is also seen at the ball pass frequency of 640 Hz. Although a substantial increase in vibration amplitude is detected in this case, there are no denite markers or trends to accurately identify and/or quantify the bearing damage in the system. Figure 5c shows the frequency spectrum of the vibration signal resulting from ball element damage; it consists of a very large frequency component at 3000 Hz and a sizable 640 Hz component as the ball damage location contacts the inner/outer race during the sampling window. However, outside the slight shifting of the excited frequencies, the analysis again does not provide a denite identication and quantication of the system component damage. As shown in a recently published paper by the present authors 11, Journal of Tribology

due to the chaotic rotation of the ball element, its damage may not be detected if rotated in such a way that no contact ensues between the damaged area and the inner/outer races during the data sampling window. A modied Poincare map 1113 with data averaging of over 2000 revolutions, as suggested by some researchers 13 to provide accurate statistical information, is used to detect and quantify the damage at the inner race and in the ball element. Figure 6a shows the modied Poincare map when there is no damage; results from the inner race and ball element damage are given in Figs. 6b and 6c, respectively. Note that the modied Poincare map with the inner race damage, Fig. 6b, shows a substantial increase over 200% in vibration amplitude at the 200 deg position relative to the reference timing mark as triggered by an optical sensor when the damage area passes by the vibration sensor during each revolution. Such a large increase in the vibration amplitude not only indicates severe damage in the bearing component, but it also provides a clear indication of the damage OCTOBER 2005, Vol. 127 / 779

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Fig. 6 Modied Poincare maps at rotor speed with good and damaged ball bearings Fig. 7 Modied Poincare maps at cage speed with good and damaged ball bearings

location 200 deg against rotation with respect to the timing mark and a denite quantication of the damage condition. The modied Poincare map resulting from the ball element damage, Fig. 6c, shows very little change, or increase less than 30% in vibration amplitude when compared to the one with no damage, and thus does not provide a very clear and denite indication of the ball element failure. One of the possible explanations for this phenomenon is that, since the relative ball pass frequency relative to shaft rotation is not an exact integer multiple of the rotational speed, the peaks due to the passing of each ball element are not able to amplify distinctively when the vibrations of each cycle are averaged. On the other hand, the damage on the inner race will exhibit distinctively its vibration characteristics on the once per revolution basis. Interestingly, further investigation shows that by using the relative ball-carrier speed instead of the shaft speed, the modied Poincare map provides better identication and quantication of the bearing damage, especially for the case of ball element damage. Figure 7 shows the results from the maximum vibration signature amplitude sample using the relative carrier speed. Figure 7a shows very small vibration amplitude for the case of no bearing damage, and this can be used as a baseline signature for a healthy bearing. Note that in Fig. 7b, the vibration signature produced by the inner race damage displays eight distinct vibration peaks around the circumference as the eight ball elements roll over the damage location during one complete revolution of the carrier relative to the shaft. The signature is now much easier to identify and the damage can also be quantied by comparing the peak vibration amplitude about 610 times larger with the healthy signature shown in Fig. 7a. Results from the ball element damage, Fig. 7c, also show more distinct features comparing to those with no bearing damage. The vibration amplitude due to the ball element damage increases signicantly when compared to results based on shaft rotation and can be easily distinguished from the case with inner race damage due to its chaotic shape features. One can not see any more the tidy organization of the eight peaks distinctive signature of the ball elements. Since vibration data of over 2000 revolutions is used in this analysis, the shortcoming of windowing vibration data during noncontacting periods of the damaged ball element with the inner/outer races has been eliminated. In order to investigate the relationships of bearing surface damage to the amplitude and characteristics of the resulting vibration 780 / Vol. 127, OCTOBER 2005

signatures, experiments are performed on a set of tapered ball bearings with a variety of articially induced inner race damage. An 11-ball tapered ball bearing, Fig. 3, was used described in Sec. 2 above. Bearings exhibit progressively an increase in the articially induced inner race damage, Figs. 4a, 4b, 4c and 4d. Figure 8 shows the frequency spectra of the vibration signatures obtained from using ve similar tapered ball bearings from no damage to the series of damages described in Fig. 4. The vibration spectrum with small amplitudes shown in Fig. 8a comes from the bearing with no damage bearing No. 0 and will serve as a base line for comparison with the other cases. Using the bearing No. 0 as reference, results from bearing Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 show signicant increases in vibration amplitudes. However, no signicant changes in the frequency component pattern can be readily recognized. The modied Poincare maps for these ve bearing cases with shaft speed as reference are shown in Figs. 9a9e. It can be seen that the maximum vibration amplitude begins to increase substantially as damage increases from a scale of 0.15 with no damage in bearing No. 0, to a scale of 1.0 with maximum damage in bearing No. 4. The width of the peak also increases as the area of the damage increases. The widening of the vibration peaks indicates a longer period of vibration rotational angle of the shaft due to the increase in areas of surface damage. Note the existence of the two 180-deg-apart peaks in the modied Poincare map as compared to the single-peak pattern in the radial bearing that characterizes the passage of the damage location through the vibration sensor in each revolution as shown in Fig. 6. The results from the two-times effects when the damage passes through the vibration sensor as well as when the damage passes through the opposite side of the sensor due to the tapered geometry of the bearing. Figure 10 shows the modied Poincare map of the damaged bearing using the relative carrier speed. Note that all 11 peaks generated from the contact of the ball elements with the inner race damage location during one revolution of the carrier with respect to the shaft can be clearly identied. As the damaged area and magnitude increases, the width of the peak increases and the denite shape of the peaks become somewhat unclear. One can see that although the amplitude in the modied Poincare maps increases signicantly from Figs. 10a through 10e, the shape of the peaks becomes unrecognizable the 11 peaks cannot be Transactions of the ASME

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Fig. 8 Frequency spectra for good, No. 0, and damaged, Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 taper ball bearings

recognized clearly. On the other hand, the 300% increase in vibration amplitude from no damage in Fig. 10a to maximum damage in Fig. 10e does provide important information in identication and quantication applications. Figure 11 depicts the relationships between the vibration amplitude and the level of inner race surface damage in terms of the volume of the pitting. Figure 11a shows both the maximum and average vibration amplitudes in the modied Poincare map based on the shaft speed. The relationships between the volume of damage and the vibration amplitude vary somewhat nonlinearly and can be tted using a third order least square algorithm as given in Table 2. The dip in the fourth data point of the maximum ampliJournal of Tribology

tude curves in both Figs. 11a and 11b bearing No. 3 are due to the fact that some of the increase in the damage volume is the result of an increase in the depth of the pitting rather than the enlargement of the damage surface area see Fig. 4c. Figure 11b presents on a modied Poincare map the relationship between the vibration amplitude and the damage volume based on the relative carrier speed. Note that the curves exhibit a dip at bearing No. 3 similar to those of the shaft speed. One may also notice, in Table 2, that the standard deviation for the third order polymer tting of the relative carrier speed vibration is less than half of THAT from the shaft speed. Based on the results of this study, one may conclude that the modied Poincare map using the OCTOBER 2005, Vol. 127 / 781

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Fig. 9 Modied Poincare maps at shaft speed with taper ball bearings

Fig. 11 Relationships between vibration amplitudes from the modied Poincare maps with damage in the inner race of the taper ball bearings

relative carrier speed may be a better choice in identifying bearing failures.


In conclusion, the study shows that the use of the modied Poincare map of the vibration signature can provide an effective procedure in identifying and quantifying bearing damage for prognostication applications. Specic conclusions based on the results of this study can be stated as follows: 1 The use of frequency spectrum analysis provides an indication of component failure with the existence of large sideband components. It can also provide some information concerning the degree of damage without any specic indication of types of component failure. 2 For ball element failure, if the damage location did not make contact with the inner/outer races during the sampling time window, the damage cannot be detected in the frequency spectrum on any type of time window analysis. The

Table 2 Least square curve ts for vibration amplitude with damage volume Y = a0 + a1X + a2X2 + a3X3

Fig. 10 Modied Poincare maps at cage speed with taper ball bearings

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use of the modied Poincare map with vibration data for over 2000 revolutions can assure the contact of the damaged area and eliminate the problem. The use the modied Poincare map can provide a dependable identication of the type of damage the number of peaks equals to the number of ball elements using relative carrier speed can provide identication of damage in the bearing race while damage in the ball element will provide an signicant increase in vibration amplitude speed as well as an accurate quantication of the damage level in rolling element bearings. The use of the modied Poincare map based on the shaft speed can provide a good indication of the location of the damage with reference to the shaft reference mark. The use of the modied Poincare map based on the relative carrier speed can provide a better indication of the damage type and its level than those based on the shaft speed of the rolling element bearing. Based on the results from this study, an interpolating algorithm can used to relate vibration amplitudes with bearing surface pitting area and depth pitting volume as failure criteria provided by bearing manufacturers.

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Phase Demodulation of the Meshing Vibration, ASME J. Vibr. Acoust., 1082, pp. 165170. McFadden, P. D., 1986, Detecting Fatigue Cracks in Gears by Amplitude and Phase Demodulation of the Meshing Vibration, ASME J. Vibr. Acoust., 1082, pp. 165170. Forrester, B. D., 1990, Analysis of Gear Vibration in the Time Frequency Domain, Proc. Of the 44th Meeting of the Mechanical Failure Prevenention Group, pp. 225234. Polyshchuk, V., 1999, Detection and Quantication of the Gear Tooth Damage from the Vibration and Acoustic Signatures, Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Akron, Akron, OH. Bamberger, E. N., et al., 1971, Life Adjustment Factors for Ball and Roller BearingsAn Engineering Design Guide, ASME, New York, pp.814. Lundlberg, G., and Palmgren, A., 1947, Dynamic Capacity of Rolling Bearings, Acta Polytech. Scand., Mech. Eng. Ser., 13, p. 7. Igarashi, T., and Kato, J., 1985, Studied on the Vibration and Sound of Defective Rolling Element Bearings Third Report, Vibration of Ball Bearings with Multiple Defects, Bull. JSME, 2827, pp. 492499. McFadden, P. D., and Smith, J. D., 1985 The Vibration Produced by Multiple Point Defects in a Rolling Element Bearing, J. Sound Vib. 982, pp. 263 273. Choy, F. K., Wang, L., Zhou, J., and Braun, M. J., 2004, On-Line Vibration Monitoring of Ball Bearing Damage Using an Experimental Test Rig, Paper will be presented in The 10th of International Symposium on Transport Phenomena and Dynamics of Rotating Machinery, Honolulu, HA, Paper 2004127, CD-ROM, pp. 110. Ehrich, F. F., 1991, Some Observations of Chaotic Vibration Phenomena in High-Speed Rotordynamics, ASME J. Vibr. Acoust., 113, pp. 5057. Moon, F. C., 1987, Chaotic Vibrations, Wiley, New York. Brockett, R. W., 1982, On Conditions Leading to Chaos in Feedback Systems, IEEE Proc., 21st Conf. Division Control, pp. 932936. Bryant, P., and Jeffries, C., 1984. Experimental Study of Driven Nonlinear Oscillator Exhibiting Hopf Bifurcations, Strong Resonances, Homoclinic Bifurcations and Chaotic Behavior, Lawerence Berkeley Laboratory report, LBL-16949, January. Henon, M., 1982. On the Numerical Computation of Poincare Map, Physica D 5, pp. 412414.

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