Over the past two years, a series of papers have been published concerning bearing temperature trending and a mechanism to explain this troubling phenomenon. In September of 2008, a collaborative field test between The Union Pacific Railroad (UP), Amsted Rail, Rail Sciences Inc. (RSI), and The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) was conducted to corroborate the findings of laboratory research and testing. Field and laboratory results confirm that temperature trended bearings exhibit vibration signals that can be distinguished from healthy bearings. Distinct primary frequencies and overtones associated with the axle, cone, cage, and rollers can be readily identified within a bearing vibration signal. In a previous paper, it was demonstrated that a trended bearing exhibits vibrations of higher magnitude. However, all characteristic frequencies appear in both healthy and trended bearings, but those that dominate, i.e., have higher magnitude, are distinct for trended bearings when compared to healthy bearings. The latter can be repeatedly demonstrated in both field and laboratory experiments. Moreover, the current work identifies and distinguishes between the primary bearing frequencies and those linked to roller misalignment, which is known to increase friction and wear, and consequently raise the bearing temperature.

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