Semi-circular surface cracks and flaking failures in silicon nitride bearings

Katsuyuki Kida*, Takashi Honda, Edson Costa Santos

Dept. of Mech. Eng., Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2011, 2 (5), pp 336-340

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2011.5042am2011

Publication Date (Web): Apr 08, 2012


There is a well-known pattern of flaking failure under spherical ball-on-plate contact, i.e., the network between multiple Hertzian cracks causes the surface layer’s separations. Based on this pattern previous researchers studied the failures of silicon nitride bearings. However, contrary to their explanation, we found that the surface cracks did not explain the process of the flaking failure of bearing plates. In the present work we calculate the stress concentration of surface crack in order to find out which crack is more dominant in the process of the flaking failure.


Rolling contact fatigue, flaking failure, subsurface crack growth, Si3N4 ceramics, bearings

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