Nonlinear behavior of force and displacements in rolling contacts with the presence of surface defects are studied. Model-based fault assessments in rolling element bearings and gears require detailed modeling and dynamics of faults. A detailed model of rolling element bearings with direct correspondence between parameters of the model and physical components is developed. The model incorporates dynamics of faults, nonlinear contacts, slips and surface separations. Mechanics of contacts with inner race faults (IRF), ball faults (BF), and outer race faults (ORF) are studied using the developed model. Contacts force, displacement and impulse signals are studied for different size and types of surface defects. It is shown that impulse signals contain useful information about the severity of surface defects in rolling element bearing. Results provide model-based diagnostics a deep knowledge of rolling contact mechanics with surface defects to be used for fault assessments.

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