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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 590875, 16 pages
Research Article

A Signal Based Triangular Structuring Element for Mathematical Morphological Analysis and Its Application in Rolling Element Bearing Fault Diagnosis

College of Chemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China

Received 17 August 2013; Accepted 18 February 2014; Published 1 April 2014

Academic Editor: Valder Steffen

Copyright © 2014 Zhaowen Chen et al. 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.


Mathematical morphology (MM) is an efficient nonlinear signal processing tool. It can be adopted to extract fault information from bearing signal according to a structuring element (SE). Since the bearing signal features differ for every unique cause of failure, the SEs should be well tailored to extract the fault feature from a particular signal. In the following, a signal based triangular SE according to the statistics of the magnitude of a vibration signal is proposed, together with associated methodology, which processes the bearing signal by MM analysis based on proposed SE to get the morphology spectrum of a signal. A correlation analysis on morphology spectrum is then employed to obtain the final classification of bearing faults. The classification performance of the proposed method is evaluated by a set of bearing vibration signals with inner race, ball, and outer race faults, respectively. Results show that all faults can be detected clearly and correctly. Compared with a commonly used flat SE, the correlation analysis on morphology spectrum with proposed SE gives better performance at fault diagnosis of bearing, especially the identification of the location of outer race fault and the level of fault severity.