Ball bearings were fatigue tested with a noncontaminated MIL-L-23699 lubricant and with a contaminated MIL-L-23699 lubricant under four levels of filtration. The test filters had absolute particle removal ratings of 3, 30, 49, and 105 microns. Aircraft turbine engine contaminants were injected into the filter’s supply line at a constant rate of 125 milligrams per bearing hour. Bearing life and running track condition generally improved with finer filtration. The experimental lives of 3- and 30-micron filter bearings were statistically equivalent, approaching those obtained with the noncontaminated lubricant bearings. Compared to these bearings, the lives of the 49-micron bearings were statistically lower. The 105-micron bearings experienced gross wear. The degree of surface distress, weight loss, and probable failure mode were dependent on filtration level, with finer filtration being clearly beneficial.

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