Adapting geometry-based polygonal contacts for simulating faulty rolling bearing dynamics

Milla Vehviläinen*, Pekka Rahkola, Janne Keränen, Jari Halme, Jussi Sopanen, Olli Liukkonen, Antti Holopainen, Kari Tammi, Anouar Belahcen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Rolling bearings are a leading cause of equipment breakdowns in electrical machines, underscoring the significance of predictive maintenance strategies. However, the given methods require high-quality big data, which is challenging to acquire, especially for faulty cases. Simulation models offer an alternative by generating large data sets to complement experimental data. However, bearings involve complex contact-related phenomena, such as slipping and clearance. Therefore, generating realistic data comparable to the real-world necessitates accuracy. Our study presents a multibody simulation system of a motor bearing, incorporating a geometry-based polygonal contact method (PCM), which accurately captures nonlinear bearing dynamics and allows for the simulation of various contact geometries. We introduce a systematic approach to adjust the PCM contact properties for rolling bearings, referencing the well-established Hertzian theory. Both healthy and faulty bearings with a local outer ring fault were simulated. The simulated output was a relative shaft displacement, experimentally validated using a capacitive sensor. Our model successfully demonstrates the potential to employ geometry-based contacts for generating realistic data on faulty bearings with the aim of predictive maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105552
Number of pages22
JournalMechanism and Machine Theory
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ball bearing
  • Data generation
  • Fault analysis
  • Multibody simulation
  • Polygonal contact method


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