The effect of raceway curvature on ball bearing contact stress and fatigue life is analyzed with both Hertzian theory and FEM. A numerical program and a 3-D FEM model are developed to calculate the contact stress and deformation at the bearing ball and raceway. The simulation results of the contact stress and deformation are discussed. The accuracy is evaluated by contrasting finite element results with analytical solutions from Hertzian theory. The effect of bearing race curvature on the contact maximum stress and area between ball and races is discussed. The results show that the race curvature is very sensitive factor to affect the bearing contact stress. The raceway curvature effect on the bearing thrust load capability and bearing running temperature is analyzed and discussed as well. For the validation, A. B. Jones’ program has been used to calculate bearing life with different raceway curvatures.

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