A new approach to the material cleanliness problem in rolling contact fatigue involving the use of hardened electrolytically deposited iron (or iron-nickel alloy) is discussed. It was demonstrated that the fatigue strength of surfaces prepared by case hardening electrodeposited iron or iron–4 percent nickel can be equivalent to the best of commercial rolling element bearing materials. Three base materials to which the plated material was applied were investigated. These covered a broad range of quality. The associated deposit thickness problem was investigated. Excellent fatigue properties were obtained if the deposit thickness was great enough to avoid fatigue development in the base material. With deposit thicknesses less than this amount, some improvement in fatigue life was obtained over that of the unplated base material.

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