Skip to main content

Investigation of Bearing Failure in a Turbo Shaft Engine

Abstract

Failure of a bearing in reduction gear box of a turbo shaft engine is investigated to determine its root cause. Teardown inspections followed by metallurgical investigations are carried out on the parts of the failed bearing. Severe flaking is observed on both inner and outer race as well as on balls. It indicates progressive fatigue due to overload. Insufficient clearance due to differential expansion of inner race and contraction of outer race due to heating and cooling, respectively, can also result in this type of phenomena. Maintaining oil discipline and using correct grade of oil at proper frequency can address these issues. A comprehensive engine-bearing prognostic approach may be followed utilizing available sensor information on-board the aircraft to predict bearing life and incipient bearing failure.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8

References

  1. K. Gurumoorthy, B.D. Faye, A. Ghosh, Handling abuse causes premature bearing failures. J. Case Stud. Eng. Fail. Anal. 1, 235–242 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. I. Salam, A. Tauqir, A.U. Haq, A.Q. Khan, An air crash due to fatigue failure of a ball bearing. Eng. Fail. Anal. 5(4), 261–269 (1998)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. J.L. Miller, D. Kitaljevich, In-line oil debris monitor for aircraft engine condition assessment, in Aerospace Conference Proceedings, vol. 6 (IEEE, 2000), pp. 49–56

  4. P.J. Dempsey, N. Bolander, C. Haynes, A.M. Toms, Investigation of bearing fatigue damage life prediction using oil debris monitoring, NASA/TM—2011-217117, Nov 2011

  5. A. Tauqir, I. Salam, A. Haq, A.Q. Khan, Causes of fatigue failure in the main bearing of an aero-engine. Eng. Fail. Anal. 7(2), 127–144 (2000)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. R.K. Mishra, A.K. Mishra, G. Gouda, Causes and remedies of high jet pipe temperature in turbo shaft engines: case studies. J. Aerosp. Sci. Technol. 62(3), 203–208 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  7. T.A. Harris, R.M. Barnsby, M.N. Kotzalas, A method to calculate frictional effects in oil-lubricated ball bearings. Tribol. Trans. 44(4), 704–708 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1080/10402000108982514

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. T.A. Harris, R.M. Barnsby, Tribological performance prediction of aircraft gas turbine mainshaft ball bearings. Tribol. Trans. 41(1), 60–68 (1998)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. B.L. Averbach, E.N. Bamberger, Analysis of bearing incidents in aircraft gas turbine main shaft bearings. Tribol. Trans. 34(2), 241–247 (1991)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. J. Halme, P. Anderson, Rolling contact fatigue and wear fundamentals for rolling bearing diagnostics—state of the art. Proc. IMechE Part J J. Eng. Tribol. 224, 377–393 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. N. Ejaz, I. Salam, A. Tauqir, Failure analysis of an aero engine ball bearing. J. Fail. Anal. Prev. 6(6), 25–31 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. M.J. Roemer, G.J. Kacprzynski, Advanced diagnostics and prognostics for gas turbine engine risk assessment, in 2000 IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, vol. 6 (2000), pp. 345–353

  13. R.K. Mishra, S.K. Muduli, K. Srinivasan, S.I. Ahmed, Failure analysis of an inter-shaft bearing of an aero gas turbine engine. J. Fail. Anal. Prev. 15(2), 205–210 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11668-015-9933-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. N.H. Forster, K. Thompson, A.M. Toms, S. Horning, Assessing the potential of a commercial oil debris sensor as a prognostic device for gas turbine engine bearings. AFRL presentation at IHSM conference, 11 Aug 2005

  15. H. Mao, P. Yang, S. Gai, Aero-engine bearing condition evaluation and rule extraction. J. Comput. Inf. Syst. 8(18), 7433–7440 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  16. W.K. Yu, T.A. Harris, A new stress-based fatigue life model for ball bearings. Tribol. Trans. 44(1), 11–18 (2001)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. R. Orsagh et al., A comprehensive prognostics approach for predicting gas turbine engine bearing life, GT2004—53965, Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2004, 14–17 June 2004

  18. J. Mihalčová, State of aircraft turboshaft engines by means of tribotechnical diagnostic. Int. J. Turbo Jet-Engines 35(1), 11–16 (2018)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. J. Zhao, Z. Liu, Y. Lu, J. Hu, Numerical modeling of unsteady oil film motion characteristics in bearing chambers. Int. J. Turbo Jet-Engines 32(3), 233–245 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. K. Mishra.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

John, S.K., Mishra, R.K., Hari, K. et al. Investigation of Bearing Failure in a Turbo Shaft Engine. J Fail. Anal. and Preven. 20, 34–39 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11668-020-00812-1

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11668-020-00812-1

Keywords

  • Metal debris
  • Magnetic chip detector
  • Bearing
  • Flaking
  • Overload failure