In this paper, fault diagnosis of high speed rolling element bearings due to localized defects using response surface method has been done. The localized defects as spalls on outer race, on inner race, and on rolling elements are considered for this study. The mathematical formulation accounted for tangential motions of rolling elements and inner and outer races with the sources of nonlinearity such as Hertzian contact force and internal radial clearance. The nonlinear stiffness is obtained by the application of Hertzian elastic contact deformation theory. The mathematical formulation predicts discrete spectrum having peaks at the characteristic defect frequencies and their harmonics. Experimentation has also been performed to validate the results obtained from the mathematical model and it shows that the model can be successfully used to predict amplitude ratios among various spectral lines with localized surface defects. Combined parametric effects have been analyzed and their influence has been considered with design of experiments and surface response methodology is used to predict the dynamic response of a rotor bearing system.

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