Wear Development in Oscillating Rolling Element Bearings

Sebastian Wandel*, Arne Bartschat, Jakob Glodowski, Norbert Bader, Gerhard Poll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Rotor blade bearings enable rotor blades to pivot about their longitudinal axis and thus control the power output and reduce the loads acting on the wind turbine. Over a design period of 20 years, rolling bearings are exposed to frequent oscillation movements with amplitude ratios of (Formula presented.) > 1, especially due to new control concepts such as Individual Pitch Control, which can lead to wear and a reduction in service life. The objective of this paper was to identify the dominant wear mechanisms and their consequences for the operation of oscillating bearings. Oscillating experiments with an increasing number of cycles on the angular contact ball bearings of two different sizes (types 7208 and 7220) show that the damage initiation starts with adhesive and corrosive wear mechanisms, which result in a sharp increase in the torque as well as the wear volume on the bearing raceway. As the number of cycles increases, an abrasive mechanism occurs, resulting in a lower slope of the wear curve and a smoothing of the resulting wear depressions. The wear and torque curves were evaluated and classified using an energy-wear approach according to Fouvry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • False brinelling
  • Grease lubrication
  • Oscillating bearing
  • Pitch bearing
  • Wear


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