The Influence of Electric Currents on Performance of Grease Lubricated Rolling Element Bearings
Sammanfattning: The technological advancement in electrical machinery represents the need to understand the lubricant behaviour in the electrical environment. As shaft voltages are unavoidable in electrical machinery, developing new grease formulations and studying their performance against electric loads is required. The thesis aims to design, develop, install and validate a novel test machine to study grease performance under the influence of electric currents. The system aims to supply damaging electric currents through the bearing, but that was not possible to accomplish due to miscalculations. The test machine is designed to carry out experiments using angular contact bearings. The experiments were performed with four greases, Lithium-complex and polypropylene-based, of high and low base-oil viscosity, respectively. The study compares the frictional moments and self-induced temperatures in the bearings with and without the influence of electric currents. Along with the frictional moment measurements, the lubricant film thickness was estimated using the “electrical-capacitance” method to monitor the status of the lubricant inside the bearing in real-time. The test machine is limited to speeds up to 3600 rpm, and the project lays out a foundation for research in film thickness estimation in rolling element bearings. As a part of the thesis, new slip rings were specified to facilitate the test machine to perform studies at higher speeds up to (17000rpm).
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