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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 6, Issue 5, Pages 321-331

Investigation of Factors Influencing the Structural Vibration in Ball Bearings

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901-6603, USA

Received 13 October 1998; Revised 13 December 1998

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hertzian equation for elastic contact is utilized along with lumped parameter approach to obtain the equations that govern the structural vibration of ball bearings. The lumped parameter formulation is obtained by treating various elements with mass lumped at their centers of gravity and the contact as nonlinear springs with nonlinear spring rates.

Effects of preload, ball rotational speed, and damping are studied using the formulation. It is found that in the presence of preload, irrespective of the load magnitude, contact is maintained with both the inner and the outer races. Hence, responses obtained with and without the check for ball/inner race and ball/outer race interferences are identical. In addition, no appreciable change is observed in the responses when the preload value is varied from 1 to 10 N. At high speed of operation, the balls are found to maintain contact with the outer ring, whereas intermittent contact with the inner ring occurs for brief periods of time. Introduction of lubricant is found to dampen the oscillations considerably.