Investigation of wear and friction properties under sliding conditions of some materials suitable for cages of rolling-contact bearings

Johnson, Robert L., Swikert, Max A., Bisson, Edmond E.

An investigation of wear and friction properties of a number of materials sliding against SAE 52100 steel was conducted. These materials included brass, bronze, beryllium copper, monel, nichrome v, 24s-t aluminum, nodular iron, and gray cast iron. The metals investigated may be useful as possible cage (separator or retainer) materials for rolling-contact bearings of high-speed turbine engines. The ability of materials to form surface films that prevent welding is a most important factor in both dry friction and boundary lubrication. On the basis of wear and resistance to welding only, the cast irons were the most promising materials investigated; they showed the least wear and the least tendency to surface failure when run dry, and when boundary lubricated they showed the highest load capacity. On the basis of mechanical properties, nodular iron is superior to gray cast iron. Bronze had the lowest friction coefficient under dry sliding conditions. The results with brass, beryllium copper, and aluminum were poor and these materials do not appear, with regard to friction and wear, to be suitable for cages.

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