The general motion of a roller and the cage in a tapered roller bearing is modeled as a function of frictional behavior in the bearing and cage clearances. Roller skew is shown to increase with increasing friction. At relatively high friction and low cage pocket and guide land clearances, the roller tends to pivot in the cage pocket such that it is in steady contact on one side of the pocket while the contact is cyclic on the other side with the roller skew frequency equal to its angular velocity. Such a pivoting motion promotes a high-frequency whirl of the cage which is clearly seen both in the whirl orbit and the whirl velocity solutions. As the friction in the bearing reduces such a high-frequency whirl is completely eliminated. When the cage clearances are somewhat larger, nominal cage whirl, with an almost circular orbit and with whirl velocity equal to cage angular velocity, is produced at higher values of friction. Again the whirl gradually subsides as the friction in the bearing is reduced. The results demonstrate significance of the computer modeling approach to optimizing bearing design under prescribed frictional behavior and operating environment.

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