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A NEW PROOF OF RULE OF THUMB REGARDING CLEARANCE VARIATION WITH


TEMPERATURE IN TWO TAPERED ROLLER BEARINGS IN O-ARRANGEMENT

Article · November 2013

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Florina Maria Rusu Lucian Tudose


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789
TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF CLUJ-NAPOCA

ACTA TECHNICA NAPOCENSIS


Series: Applied Mathematics and Mechanics
Vol. 56, Issue IV, November, 2013

A NEW PROOF OF RULE OF THUMB REGARDING CLEARANCE


VARIATION WITH TEMPERATURE IN TWO TAPERED ROLLER
BEARINGS IN O-ARRANGEMENT

Florina RUSU, Cristina TUDOSE, Lucian TUDOSE

Abstract: In this paper a new and more rigorous mathematical proof of rule of thumb regarding the total internal
clearance variation when shaft thermal expansion occurs in two tapered roller bearing in O-arrangement is presented.
It has also been proven that the mentioned rule of thumb is valid even when shaft and housing have slight different
thermal expansion coefficients.
Key words: tapered roller bearings, back-to-back arrangement, thermal expansion.

1. INTRODUCTION the shaft, housing, and bearing parts during the


operation. In the case of a bearing arrangement
The total amount of displacement between consisting in two adjusted tapered roller
the rings and the rolling elements of a bearing bearings in face-to-face configuration the
is defined as internal clearance. When either the clearance inside the bearings will increase with
inner ring or the outer ring is fixed and the the increase of the temperature. Unlike this
other ring is free to move, displacement can arrangement, in the case of two adjusted
take place in either axial or radial direction. The tapered roller bearings in back-to-back
amount of displacement, depending on the configuration, one cannot assert, for sure, that
direction, is called the radial internal clearance the clearance inside the bearings will increase.
or the axial internal clearance. The things are a little bit more complicated
Internal clearance is desirable in applications for this bearing arrangement case and a well-
where a certain allowance must be provided for known rule of thumb is used in bearing units
thermal expansion of components, for optimum design [1]: Due to the temperature difference
load distribution, for slight shaft-bearing between the shaft and housing during the
housing misalignment accommodation, for free operation, for two adjusted tapered roller
rotation of rolling element, or for other bearings in O-arrangement (back-to-back
application requirements. The internal arrangement) one can assert that:
clearance may also influence noise, vibration,
the bearing clearance increases with the
heat build-up and fatigue life of the bearing.
increase of the bearing operating
Due to the fact that bearings hold the
temperature, if the bearing roller cones do
rotating parts of a mechanism in proper position
not meet (Fig. 1 a);
across the entire performance envelope of an
application, selecting and setting the correct the bearing clearance remains the same
with the increase of the bearing operating
internal clearance becomes extremely
temperature, if the bearing roller cones
important.
apexes coincide (Fig. 1 b);
2. RULE OF THUMB the bearing clearance decreases with the
increase of the bearing operating
When setting the axial internal clearance temperature, if the bearing roller cones
during the bearing installation it is very overlap (Fig. 1 c).
important to consider the thermal expansions of
790

Fig. 1 Clearance variation in a two tapered roller bearings in back-to-back configuration: the roller cones
a) do not meet;b) apexes coincide;c) overlap

Fig. 2 Tapered roller bearing with zero mounting clearance before heating
791

According to many bearing manufacturers ring raceway (Fig. 3). After the temperature
(e.g. [2], [3]) this rule of thumb is valid in the increases by ¨t, they move to ‫ܣ‬ଵᇱ (‫ݔ‬ଵᇱ ,‫ݕ‬ଵᇱ ) and
following conditions: ‫ܣ‬ᇱଶ (‫ݔ‬ଶᇱ ,‫ݕ‬ଶᇱ ), where:
shaft and housing of same isotropic ‫ݔ‬ଵᇱ ൌ ‫ݔ‬ଵ ൅ ߜ௫భ ൌ ‫ݔ‬ଵ ൅‫ן‬௧ ‫ݔ‬ଵ ο‫ݐ‬
material (same coefficient of thermal
expansion, Įt, in both radial and axial ‫ݕ‬ଵᇱ ൌ ‫ݕ‬ଵ ൅ ߜ௬భ ൌ ‫ݕ‬ଵ ൅‫ן‬௧ ‫ݕ‬ଵ ο‫ݐ‬
direction); ‫ݔ‬ଶᇱ ൌ ‫ݔ‬ଶ ൅ ߜ௫మ ൌ ‫ݔ‬ଶ ൅‫ן‬௧ ‫ݔ‬ଶ ο‫ݐ‬
inner ring and shaft operate at same ‫ݕ‬ଶᇱ ൌ ‫ݕ‬ଶ ൅ ߜ௬మ ൌ ‫ݕ‬ଶ ൅‫ן‬௧ ‫ݕ‬ଶ ο‫ݐ‬
temperature (ti); Note that in Fig. 3 the position of the
outer ring and entire housing at identical Cartesian coordinate system is the same with
working temperature (te). the position of the Cartesian coordinate system
we will prove that the rule remains the same used in Fig. 2.
even if the above mentioned coefficients of Now, the slope of the straight line determined
thermal expansion are slight different. by ‫ܣ‬ଵᇱ and ‫ܣ‬ᇱଶ can be calculated:

3. PROOF ‫ݕ‬ଶᇱ െ ‫ݕ‬ଵᇱ ሺ‫ݕ‬ଶ െ ‫ݕ‬ଵ ሻ ȉ ሺͳ ൅‫ן‬௧ ο‫ݐ‬ሻ ‫ݕ‬ଶ െ ‫ݕ‬ଵ


ൌ ൌ
‫ݔ‬ଶᇱ െ ‫ݔ‬ଵᇱ ሺ‫ݔ‬ଶ െ ‫ݔ‬ଵ ሻ ȉ ሺͳ ൅‫ן‬௧ ο‫ݐ‬ሻ ‫ݔ‬ଶ െ ‫ݔ‬ଵ
In Fig. 2 a tapered roller bearing with zero
mounting clearance is presented. The distance As it can be seen, the slope of the straight line
between the roller cone apex and the midpoint determined by A1’ and A2’ equals the one of the
O of the distance between the bearings seats straight line determined by A1 and A2. This
(same as in Fig. 2 is denoted by x0 which is means that, after a temperature increase by ¨t,
positive, zero, or negative as the actual the roller generatrix (and the outer ring raceway
arrangement is in one of the cases presented in generatrix, also) make an angle with the
Fig. 1 a, b, and c, respectively. The bearing positive direction of the x-axis equal to the
mounting temperature is t0 and Dc is the bearing nominal contact angle Į.
diameter of the circle on which the contact Now we will prove that after the thermal
point between roller and outer ring raceway (at expansion the points Mi(t0) = Me(t0), Mi(ti), and
the middle of the roller) is situated. Me(te) lie on the same straight line (i.e. they are
Consider a contact point situated at the collinear). In this purpose we will calculate and
middle the roller generatrix. At the mounting compare the values of the slopes of the straight
temperature this point is denoted by Mi(t0), if it lines Mi(t0)Mi(ti) and Me(t0) Me(te).
is considered belonging to the roller, and by The coordinates of Mi(ti) are given by:
Me(t0), if the same point is considered on the ‫ܦ‬௖
outer ring raceway. During the bearing ߜ‫ݔ‬௜ ൌ ߙ௧௜ ȉ ൬‫ݔ‬଴ ൅ ൰ ȉ ሺ‫ݐ‬௜ െ ‫ݐ‬଴ ሻ
ʹ –ƒ ߙ
operation roller temperature increases from t0 to
ti (bearing cage, inner ring, and shaft and
temperatures also), and the outer ring (and ‫ܦ‬௖
housing also) temperature increases from t0 to ߜ‫ݎ‬௜ ൌ ߙ௧௜ ȉ ȉ ሺ‫ݐ‬௜ െ ‫ݐ‬଴ ሻ
ʹ
te. As result, due to thermal expansions of the
Analogously, the coordinates of Me(te) yield
parts, the points Mi(t0) and Me(t0) reach the
from the following equations:
positions Mi(ti) and Me(te), respectively.
It can be proven that the roller generatrix after ‫ܦ‬௖
ߜ‫ݔ‬௘ ൌ ߙ௧௘ ȉ ൬‫ݔ‬଴ ൅ ൰ ȉ ሺ‫ݐ‬௘ െ ‫ݐ‬଴ ሻ
bearing heating is parallel to the roller ʹ –ƒ ߙ
generatrix at mounting temperature. This is and
obviously true for the outer ring raceway
generatrix, also. Consider two points, A1(x1, y1) ‫ܦ‬௖
ߜ‫ݎ‬௘ ൌ ߙ௧௘ ȉ ȉ ሺ‫ݐ‬௘ െ ‫ݐ‬଴ ሻ
and A2(x2, y2), on the straight line d ʹ
representing the roller generatrix or the outer
792
where ߙ௧௜ and ߙ௧௘ are thermal expansion ‫ݔ‬଴ –ƒ ߙ
–ƒ ߙ െ –ƒ ߚ௧ ൌ
coefficients of shaft (and inner ring, cage ‫ݔ‬଴ ൅ ͲǤͷ‫ܦ‬௖ …‘– ߙ
rollers and) and housing (and outer ring),
respectively. where:
Calculating the tangent of the angle between Dc – diameter of the circle on which the
Mi(t0)Mi(ti) and the bearing axis the following contact point between roller and
equation is obtained: outer ring raceway (at the middle of
‫ܦ‬ the roller) is situated, mm;
ߜ‫ݎ‬௜ ߙ௧௜ ȉ ௖ ȉ ሺ‫ݐ‬௜ െ ‫ݐ‬଴ ሻ
ൌ ʹ x0 – distance between the roller cone
ߜ‫ݔ‬௜ ߙ ȉ ቀ‫ ݔ‬൅ ‫ܦ‬௖ ቁ ȉ ሺ‫ ݐ‬െ ‫ ݐ‬ሻ apex and the midpoint O of the
௧௜ ଴ ʹ –ƒ ߙ ௜ ଴
distance between the bearings seats
‫ܦ‬௖
(same as in Fig.1 ), mm;
ൌ ʹ 
‫ܦ‬௖ Į – nominal contact angle, rad or deg;
‫ݔ‬଴ ൅ ȕt – inclination angle (from the bearing
ʹ –ƒ ߙ
axis), of the straight line connecting
Analogously, the tangent of the angle the points Mi(t0) = Me(t0), Mi(ti) and
between the straight line determined by Me(t0) Me(te), rad or deg.
and Me(te) and the bearing axis equals:
Note that this equation is independent of the
‫ܦ‬ temperatures t0, ti, and te and the denominator
ߜ‫ݎ‬௘ ߙ௧௘ ȉ ௖ ȉ ሺ‫ݐ‬௘ െ ‫ݐ‬଴ ሻ
ൌ ʹ of the fraction is always positive, even at the
ߜ‫ݔ‬௘ ߙ ȉ ቀ‫ ݔ‬൅ ‫ܦ‬௖ ቁ ȉ ሺ‫ ݐ‬െ ‫ ݐ‬ሻ limit when x0 is negative and bearings touch
௧௘ ଴ ʹ –ƒ ߙ ௘ ଴
‫ܦ‬௖ each other. Equation () is also independent of
ʹ the thermal expansion coefficients ߙ௧௜ and ߙ௧௘ .
ൌ  From the above equation immediately results:
‫ܦ‬௖
‫ݔ‬଴ ൅
ʹ –ƒ ߙ Į > ȕt, if and only if x0 >0 ;
As it can be observed Į = ȕt, if and only if x0 = 0;
Į < ȕt, if x0 < 0 and it do not exceed the
ߜ‫ݎ‬௜ ߜ‫ݎ‬௘
ൌ limit when the bearings touch each other.
ߜ‫ݔ‬௜ ߜ‫ݔ‬௘
Hence, the relative position of roller and outer
which means that the points Mi(t0) = Me(t0), ring raceway results in
Mi(ti), and Me(te) are collinear.
Therefore we denoted clearance, if and only if x0 >0 ;
zero clearance, if and only if x0 = 0;
ߜ‫ݎ‬௜ ߜ‫ݎ‬௘ interference, if x0 < 0 and it do not exceed
ൌ ൌ –ƒ ߚ௧ the limit when the bearings touch each
ߜ‫ݔ‬௜ ߜ‫ݔ‬௘
other.
when the line they lie on is inclined to the If the initial bearing has not zero-clearance
bearing axis by the angle ȕt (Fig. 4). but a certain internal clearance and if the
Depending on the value of this angle and its temperature of shaft increases relative to the
relationship with the nominal contact angle Į, housing temperature all above became:
the relative position of roller and outer ring
raceway results in the bearing clearance increases, if and only
if x0 >0 ;
clearance, if Į > ȕt (Fig. 4 a);
the bearing clearance remains the same, if
zero clearance, if Į = ȕt; and only if x0 = 0;
interference, if Į < ȕt (Fig. 4 b). the bearing clearance decreases, if x0 < 0
On the other hand between the two angles ȕt and it do not exceed the limit when the
and Į (whatever the relationship between them) bearings touch each other.
there exists a simple geometric relationship
given by the equation:
793

Fig. 3 Relative position of two points after thermal expansion

Fig. 4 Relative position of roller and outer ring raceway after bearing heating during operation:
794
a) clearance;b) interference

With all these, the proof of the rule of thumb world, the temperature of the outer ring and
regarding the bearing clearance variation in a housing are different and the shaft temperature
bearing arrangement consisting of two tapered differs from the temperatures of inner ring and
roller bearings in O-arrangement (back-to-back rollers. It is interesting to see if the above rule
arrangement) according to the relative position of thumb will be still valid in this complex but
of the roller contact cones of the two bearings real situation.
(presented in Fig. 1) is complete.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
4. CONCLUSIONS
This paper was supported by the RKB
Some conclusions can be immediately drawn Group, the Swiss bearing manufacturer and the
from above proof: authors greatly appreciate and wish to thank all
the RKB staff for their great assistance during
rule of thumb regarding total internal
this project.
clearance variation when shaft thermal
expansion occurs in two tapered roller
bearing in O-arrangement (back-to-back 5. REFERENCES
arrangement) has solid mathematical and
physical basis. [1] Pop, D., Tudose, L., Haragas, S., Lagare cu
the mentioned rule of thumb is valid even rulmenti. Proiectare, Todesco, Cluj-Napoca,
when shaft and housing have slight 2006 (in Romanian).
different thermal expansion coefficients. [2] Rolling bearings. Ball bearings. Roller
bearings. Needle roller bearings. Track rollers.
The encouraging results of this work pave the Bearing for screw drives. Insert bearings,
way for more precise investigation of the housing units. Bearing housings. Accessories,
variation of the clearance considering the fact Schaeffler KG, 2008.
that quite often, housing, shaft and bearing [3] SKF General Catlague (Catalogue 6000/I EN –
parts have thermal expansion coefficients June 2008), SKF Group, 2008.
significantly different. In addition, in real

O NOUĂ DEMONSTRATIE A REGULII EMPIRICE PRIVIND VARIATIA JOCULUI ÎN FUNCTIE DE


TEMEPRATURĂ ÎN DOI RULMENTI RADIAL-AXIALI CU ROLE CONICE MONTATI ÎN O

Rezumat: În acest articol a fost prezentată o nouă demonstratie matematică riguroasă a regulii empirice privind variatia
jocului intern total atunci când intervine expansiunea termic ă a arborelui în doi rulmenti radial-axiali cu role conice
de tip spate-în-spate. S-a dovedit de asemenea că regula mentionată este adevărată si atunci când arborele si carcasa
au coeficienti de expansiune termică diferiti.

Florina RUSU, PhD student, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Mechanical System


Engineering Department, Florina.Rusu@omt.utcluj.ro
Cristina TUDOSE, Assist. Prof. Dr. Eng., Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Mechanical
System Engineering Department, Cristina.Stanescu@omt.utcluj.ro, AC&O Dept. RKB Bearing
Industries, Switzerland
Lucian TUDOSE, Prof. Dr. Eng., Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Mechanical System
Engineering Department, Lucian.Tudose@omt.utcluj.ro, Head of AC&O Dept. RKB Bearing
Industries, Switzerland

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