Calculating the fatigue life of a tapered roller bearing has become a rather straightforward exercise thanks to the accumulation of rolling contact fatigue data and the subsequent development of formulation relating applied loading to bearing fatigue life. An integral part of the prediction process is to define an equivalent radial load (EQRL) by combining a bearing’s applied radial and thrust loading into a single entity. This paper reviews currently accepted formulation and offers a potentially more accurate alternative method for estimating the EQRL of a tapered roller bearing than does the current AFBMA standard.

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