The lubrication performance of rib/roller end contacts of cylindrical roller bearings was studied both theoretically and experimentally for end-crowned rollers and inclined ribs. A partial EHL program was used to calculate the film thickness and the friction in the rib/roller end contact. Calculated minimum film thickness shows a strong load dependence although the central film thickness is still a weak function of the load. The influence of the contact position on the film thickness was also investigated for roller skewness and design tolerance. It was found that the contact location affects the minimum film thickness strongly in spite of a weak influence on the central film thickness. Friction and scuffing experiments were conducted on a special rig, which can achieve arbitrary slide/roll ratio to simulate the rib/roller end contacts. Good agreements were found between measured and calculated friction based on the assumption that the lubricant was Newtonian. In scuffing experiments, scuffing propagation was observed on the rib contact surface. The critical load for scuffing is strongly correlated with the sliding velocity. The critical load at high speeds is lower than that at low speeds although the friction at high speeds is lower. These data imply the importance of the contact location and the wear process for film breakdown.

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