Performance testing of composite bearing materials for large hydraulic cylinders

Composite Bearings

Challenge:

Effectively and reliably predict the longevity and operational performance of composite radial bearings found in large hydraulic cylinders.

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Rexroth Solution:

Develop a testing method that examines the following:

  • The layer structure of the bearing, as well as its friction behavior
  • How the bearing deforms as the result of being placed under a load, and then further imaging to assess the bearing’s response to being under a load

Testing Methodology:

  • Microscopic imaging: A micrograph of the cross-section of the composite bearing is taken, to study the composite’s layer structure and possible defects. Micrographs were taken pre- and post-friction testing.

  • Friction test: This test is conducted to generate a Stribeck curve, which is made by measuring the friction on the bearing at different velocities and different loads. The magnitude of the load is varied, and two inclinations were used.

  • Thickness measurement: Before and after the friction test, the composite bearing’s thickness is measured. Measuring the change in the bearing’s thickness after putting the composite under loads provides an indication of the permanent deformation as a result of the load.