A new model of fatigue life dispersion in rolling contact

T. E. Tallian, J. I. McCool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The dispersion of rolling contact fatigue life is modelled assuming defects of uniform severity randomly distributed in the stressed volume. The probability of a defect occurring in a material volume is assumed to follow a Poisson distribution. The life N to failure at any defect is obtained as a deterministic function of a stress related hazard parameter tR at the defect location. Defining equi-hazard contours as loci of constant hazard parameter, the area SA enclosed by any equi-hazard contour is related to the hazard factor tR at the contour through Hertzian analysis. A toroidal material volume bounded in each cross section by an equi-hazard contour with an identical hazard parameter value tR contains all points at which a defect fails after a life not exceeding N. The probability S(N) of survival beyond N is equal to the Poisson probability P(0) that there is no defect within this volume and is obtained by transformation of P(0). It yields a three parameter Weibull distribution with a dispersion exponent β depending solely on the Hertzian stress distribution and presupposing no defect severity dispersion. It is estimated to be of the order β = 0.4-1.3, which reasonably coincides with the life dispersions obtained experimentally. The minimum life N0 can be set equal to the experimental value N = 0.05 N10, where N10 is the 10% failure life quantile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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