The effect of hardness, surface finish, and grain size upon the compressive rolling-contact fatigue strength of M-50 bearing steel has been studied. Considerable testing on the RC Rig and statistical-treatment methods have been included. A mathematical expression relating these variables to life expectancy is presented and the optimization of these variables is discussed. It is shown that bearing fatigue of M-50 increases by increasing hardness, decreasing surface, and increasing grain size. The optimum life identified occurs at Rc64 hardness, 1.5 rms surface finish, and a grain size of ASTM 2.

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