On failure of high strength steel bridge roller bearings

Sammanfattning: This thesis is concerned with failure analysis of high strength steel bridge roller bearings.Paper Adescribes how the commonly used Hertz formulas for contact stresses underestimate the actual stresses in practice due to temperature differences, misalignments and other construction-related conditions. In this paper, finite element analyses of bridge roller bearings were carried out to investigate the accuracy of the traditional roller bearing design rules in view of issues such as girder deformability, misalignment imperfections and material nonlinearity. The results first indicated that roller bearings develop contact stress concentrations at the outer edges of the rollers. Second, it was shown that the contact stresses are very sensitive to misalignment imperfections between the bridge girder and the abutment. Third, it was shown that the roller bearings develop inelastic deformation at relatively low loads in relation to the design load.In Paper B, the finite element method was employed to gain an understanding of the behaviour of a cracked bridge roller bearing in service. The cracked roller was considered as a two-dimensional edge-cracked disk subjected to a diametrical compressive line load. The crack parameters, stress intensity factor Mode I, KI and Mode II ,KII were calculated for the relevant load configuration and angle of disk rotation. The calculated data for KIwere also used to check the accuracy of approximate stress intensity factor solutions reported earlier for Mode I. For plain Mode I loading very good agreement was found between the obtained results and data presented in Schindler and Morf (1994).Paper Cis aimed at finding the likely failure mechanism of a bridge roller bearing made of high strength martensitic stainless steel. Spectroscopy and finite element stress analysis of the roller indicated that an initial radial surface crack, found at an end face of the roller and close to the contact region, was induced by stress corrosion cracking (SCC). The initial crack subsequently changed shape and increased in size under growth through fatigue and finally formed a quarter-circle radial crack centred on the end face corner of the roller. Numerically computed stress intensity factors for the final crack showed that crack loading was predominantly in Mode II. For a crack size as observed on the fracture surface, the maximum service load, as specified by the manufacturer, enhanced by a certain roller bearing misalignment effect, was sufficient for failure through fracture.InPaper D, after a brief summary of the history of high strength stainless steel bearings, the paper reviews service experience of failed bearings in Sweden and elsewhere. Accompanying finite element analyses were performed in order to gain better insight into the likely failure mechanism. Finally, thiscomprehensive review leads to a conclusion that identifies the causes of the failures occurred and makes some recommendations.

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