On the Accuracy of Rolling Bearing Fatigue Life Prediction

T. A. Harris, J. I. McCool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Ball and roller bearings are designed to meet endurance requirements basically determined according to the Standard fatigue life calculation method. This method is based on the Lundberg-Palmgren fatigue life theory as modified by reliability, material, and lubrication factors. As application load and spied requirements have increased, the Lundberg-Palmgren method has resulted in bearings of increased size, adding unnecessarily to the size and weight of mechanisms. This is a critical design situation for weight and size-sensitive components such as aircraft gas turbine engines and helicopter power transmissions. The bearing life prediction method developed by loannides and Harris recognizes the existence of a fatigue limit stress. If the stresses an operating bearing experiences do not exceed the limit stress, the bearing can achieve infinite life. In any case, the method tends to predict longer lives than the Lundberg-Palmgren method. This paper evaluates the life prediction accuracies of the Lundberg-Palmgren and loannides-Harris methods by comparing lives calculated according to these methods and to those actually experienced in 62 different applications. As a result of the investigation, the loannides-Harris method is shown to more accurately predict bearing fatigue endurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-308
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Tribology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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