RESEARCH PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Vehicular

An Evaluation of Indentation and Finishing Properties of Bearing Grade Silicon Nitrides

[+] Author and Article Information
J. F. Dill

Mechanical Technology Inc., Latham, NY 12110

M. N. Gardos

Hughes Aircraft Co., El Segundo, CA 90245

R. G. Hardisty

Spheric Engineering Ltd., Crawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 119(1), 196-199 (Jan 01, 1997) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2815547 History: Received March 18, 1995; Online November 19, 2007


This paper describes the results of studies of the machining performance and the indentation hardness and fracture toughness of different silicon nitride materials as part of an effort to better define the optimum machining conditions for bearing components. This work builds on prior efforts by two of the authors, Gardos and Hardisty (1993) who formulated a simple relationship between diamond grinding performance of silicon nitride bearing balls and a wear equation first detailed by Evans and Wilshaw (1976). The goal of this present work was to determine the general applicability of such a relationship, i.e., could simple indentation studies be used to define finishing conditions for different silicon nitride materials? The availability of such a simple test would reduce the time required for developing an acceptable process when a supplier changes his formulation, or when a new material becomes available. Quicker development of optimum finishing conditions would eventually result in a lower-cost product for users. The initial study by Gardos and Hardisty (1993) was based on limited data taken at a fixed set of conditions. This study expanded the range of conditions evaluated and the number of ceramic materials studied in an effort to define the universality of the relationship between grinding wear, hardness, and toughness. This study has shown that no simple relationship like that first envisioned by the authors exists. The results showed that the grinding wear of the individual silicon nitride materials increased at different rates as a function of load. Because of the differences found in the load dependence of grinding rates, no simple relationship between hardness, fracture toughness, and grinding rate could be found that fit the data over the range of conditions studied. This work is part of an ARPA funded effort to provide a tribological performance database on ceramic-bearing materials, including their grinding and finishing properties, and their interaction with standard bearing steels.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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