Using a new type of gear-load testing machine and a disk-type rolling fatigue testing machine designed and made by the authors, the upper limits of Hertzian contact stress allowable on rolling contact surfaces were investigated. It was shown conclusively that gears and rollers made of soft carbon steels could be rotated beyond 108 revolutions at Hertzian stresses over shakedown limit (≈ 0.4 HB). In the case of gears, pits having a pitting area ratio of 0.04 percent occurred during 1.16 × 108 rotations at a Hertzian stress of 0.50 HB. However, no pitting occurred on the roller rotated through 1.20 × 108 revolutions at a Hertzian stress of 0.71 HB, although appreciable changes in texture were observed at the subsurface. In order to rotate gears or rollers at Hertzian stresses over shakedown limit, their surface must either be very smooth initially or after a short period of running, and an oil film must be formed between contacting surfaces.

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