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Nanocomposite Tribological Coatings for Rolling Element Bearings

  • Ryan D. Evans (a1), Elizabeth P. Cooke (a1), Carl R. Ribaudo (a1) and Gary L. Doll (a1)

Abstract

The performance of rolling element bearings is enhanced by the application of nanocomposite coatings that are composed of metal carbides incorporated into an amorphous hydrogenated carbon matrix (MC/a-C:H). When applied to the rolling elements in tapered roller bearings, MC/a-C:H coatings were found to help increase fatigue life, rib-roller end scuffing resistance, and false brinelling resistance in poorly lubricated environments. This series of performance tests were conducted with both coated and uncoated rollers. The results are attributed to the minimization of adhesive interactions and desirable counterface micro-polishing due to the presence of the thin hard coatings on rollers in the bearings.

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