The ball bearing is widely used on many moderate speed rotating systems due to its low starting friction and high load capacity. However, the heat generation caused by high-speed operation has been the limiting factor for increasing the speed limit of many high-speed ball bearing applications. The objective of this study was to predict the heat generation and temperature rise of ball bearings operating at moderate rotating speed. A series of experiments have been conducted to investigate the effects of oil-mist and oil-air lubrication on temperature rise of ceramic and steel ball bearings. From these experimental results, the previous theoretical model for temperature rise of ball bearings was modified for the moderate speed operation conditions. A computer code was developed accordingly to investigate the relationship between preload, ball bearing parameters, heat generation and temperature rise. The effect of temperature on lubricant viscosity was also taken into account. Results from the improved theoretical model compare well with the experimental data.
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