NORTH CANTON, Ohio, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Research conducted by The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR; www.timken.com), a global maker of bearings, to address a critical issue for wind turbine operators received the 2015 Wilbur Deutsch Memorial Award from the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). Timken researchers used their deep technological expertise to solve customer problems in the wind energy sector and underscored the value of Timken® Wear-Resistant® bearings in helping to prevent smearing damage to turbine gearbox bearings.
Dr. Ryan Evans, manager of engineering fundamentals and physical testing at Timken, led a team of researchers in investigating the root cause of smearing damage to turbine gearbox bearings manufactured by various companies. It was known that lightly loaded high speed shaft bearings (usually cylindrical roller bearings, or CRBs) in turbine gearboxes sometimes exhibited smearing damage in bands across various surface areas. These smeared areas can be initiation points for much more severe damage over the service life of a bearing.
The specific bearing assembly dynamics that caused the smearing were not well understood, and other researchers had been unable to reproduce the damage on full-size CRBs in a laboratory. "It took us a few months and some creative test-rig settings and instrumentation to determine how to generate the smearing damage. In addition, we recognized the importance and value of measuring key bearing dynamic attributes like cage slip in real time," Dr. Evans said. "We took it a step further and were able to model the test conditions using the Timken CAGEDYN dynamic model, which led to a proposed 'smearing criterion' that can be used to assess smearing risk in other bearings and dynamic situations."
The team's research proved that erratic load zone conditions contribute to smearing damage. "As that was the only way we could reproduce the damage in a laboratory, others outside Timken increasingly point to the same mechanism as an explanation for not only smearing, but other types of bearing damage in real wind turbines," Dr. Evans said.
He and three other Timken researchers co-authored the award-winning paper that presented the results. They are Todd Barr, principal product development engineer, based in North Canton, Ohio; Steve Boyd, senior application specialist – product, also based in North Canton; and Luc Houpert, senior scientist – product, based in Colmar, France.
Founded in 1944 in Chicago as the American Society of Lubrication Engineers (ASLE), the society changed its name in 1987 to acknowledge a growing international participation. STLE is the premier technical society serving the needs of more than 10,000 individuals and 150 companies and organizations that comprise the tribology and lubrication engineering business sector. STLE members are technical experts who research, develop and market the methods and products that make industry more successful and that enhance the well-being of people worldwide. STLE members are employed by the world's leading corporations and academic institutions and by governmental agencies dealing with science and technology. STLE supports these distinguished men and women with a variety of professional education and certification programs.
About The Timken Company
The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR; www.timken.com) engineers, manufactures and markets bearings, transmissions, gearboxes, chain and related products, and offers a spectrum of powertrain rebuild and repair services. The leading authority on tapered roller bearings, Timken today applies its deep knowledge of metallurgy, tribology and mechanical power transmission across a variety of bearings and related systems to improve reliability and efficiency of machinery and equipment all around the world. The company's growing product and services portfolio features many strong industrial brands including Timken®, Fafnir®, Philadelphia Gear®, Drives® and Interlube™. Known for its quality products and collaborative technical sales model, Timken posted $3.1 billion in sales in 2014. With 14,000 employees operating from 28 countries, Timken makes the world more productive and keeps industry in motion.
SOURCE The Timken Company