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13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

A19_362

General Static Load Capacity in Slewing Bearings.


Unified Theoretical Approach for Crossed Roller Bearings and Four Contact
Point Angular Ball Bearings.
J. Aguirrebeitia*
ETSIB, UPV/ EHU
Bilbao, Spain

M. Abasolo
ETSIB, UPV/ EHU
Bilbao, Spain

R. Aviles
ETSIB, UPV/ EHU
Bilbao, Spain

Abstract this work presents a unified approach to


obtain the general static load-carrying capacity for two
kinds of slewing bearings: crossed roller bearings and
four contact point angular bearings. The bearings are
loaded with an axial force, a radial force and a tiltingmoment. This approach is based on a generalization of
Sjovll and Rumbargers equations and provides an
acceptance surface in the load space. This acceptance
surface provides a solid basis to compute acceptance
curves for the design and selection of these bearings.

I. Fernandez
ETSIB, UPV/ EHU
Bilbao, Spain

the bearings themselves, or having simply copied other


manufacturers data. Anyhow, there is always a certain
ambiguity and a lack of a clear criterion in the definition
of the equivalent load.

a) Four contact point bearing

Keywords: slewing bearing, ball bearing, roller bearing, load


capacity.

b) Crossed roller bearing


MT
FA

I. Introduction
FR

Slewing bearings are large-sized bearings with a wide


field of applications, such as in wind turbine generators,
tower cranes, tanks, vertical lathe tables generally, they
are used in cases in which large rotational functional
elements are involved.
Usually, these bearings are driven, and so they contain
gears in the inner or outer ring, and the two rings use to
be bolted. There are many different types of slewing
bearings which differ from each other in the number of
rows and in the type of rolling elements. Thus, there are
bearings with one or two rows, and the rolling elements
can be balls, tapered rollers or cylindrical rollers. In Fig.
1, the two types of slewing bearings considered in this
work appear, as well as the loads acting on them (axial
and radial forces, as well as tilting moments). In the most
unfavorable load case, the radial force is perpendicular to
the resultant of the tilting moments.
Several bearing manufacturers provide acceptance
curves that allow one to determine whether or not a
bearing is statically acceptable for a given equivalent
load, calculated as a combination of the axial and radial
loads. By means of a momentaxial-force diagram, this
equivalent load allows a designer to obtain the maximum
allowable tilting moment that the bearing can bear
statically. This is illustrated in Figure 2. 1
There are some variations in the form and limits of the
diagram shown in Figure 2. These variations are due to
the manufacturers having experimented with or assessed
*

Inner Holes
Outer Holes
Gear Teeth

c) Setup of a slewing bearing


Fig. 1. Slewing bearings.
MT

C0ad/n

C0a: static axial load rating


d: ball centre diameter
n = 4.37 (ball bearings)
= 4.06 (roller bearings)

Mmax

FA
Feq

C0a

Fig. 2. Momentaxial-force diagram.

The objective of this work is to give a common frame to


arrange the general static load capacity for crossed roller
bearings and four contact point angular bearings,
adapting the procedure developed in [1] and reformulated
in [2] for the last one. In that work, a procedure defining
a surface with the limiting values of the loads FA, FR and
MT was developed. This representation can be used
directly to determine whether or not a given load
combination is acceptable.
There have been some previous publications where
concepts relevant to the assessment of the static loadcarrying capacity of slewing bearings have been

josu.aguirrebeitia@ehu.es
mikel.abasolo@ehu.es
rafael.aviles@ehu.es
igor.fernandezdebustos@ehu.es
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13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

A19_362

formulated, and then equations that reflect the


equilibrium of the forces and moments are worked out.

examined, mainly for the case of four-contact-point


bearings. Amasorrain et al. [3] developed a procedure to
work out the load distribution in bearings of this type
subjected to axial and radial forces and tilting moments.
Liao and Lin [4] developed a similar procedure, in which
only axial and radial forces were taken into account. Both
of these procedures are similar to the procedure that
Zupan and Prebil [5] used to estimate the influence of
geometrical and stiffness parameters on the calculation of
the load-carrying capacity. Other work has also been
done on these topics [6, 6]. All of the above papers
propose a generalization of the equations obtained by
Jones [7], in which the load distribution is worked out
from the known external loads, taking account of the
variation in contact angle with the loading conditions.
Our work has a different focus, consisting in directly
calculating the load combinations that result in static
failure (as defined in the ISO standard [9]) of the most
loaded element. This allows one to obtain a threedimensional acceptance condition in the form of a surface
inequation. The designer can use this acceptance surface
as a straightforward way to select a bearing
appropriately. This approach is based on the calculations
of Sjovll [10] for combinations of axial and radial loads
and of Rumbarger [11] for combinations of axial and
moment loads. These calculations assume zero clearance
in the contact, and rigid rings. These assumptions are also
made in the current paper. The axial load-carrying
capacity is used to normalize the results and can be
obtained from standards [9, 12]. Some manufacturers use
experimentation to fine-tune this value, taking material
quality and geometrical parameters into account.
In previous publications [1,2] the authors developed
the theoretical procedure to establish a three dimensional
acceptance condition for the selection of four contact
point slewing bearings. In this work that approach is
generalized and unified also for crossed roller slewing
bearings.

d
raceway 1

raceway 2

r
a

a) Four contact point angular slewing bearing

d
raceway 1

raceway 2

r
a

II. Common geometrical features


b) Crossed roller slewing bearing

Both types of bearings share some geometrical


properties. In Fig. 3 one can observe that in both cases a
contact angle is defined, and if rollers are considered
pairwise, four contact areas are identified in both
bearings. Besides, the inner ring contact diameter d is
considered for both. So, from now on, the only difference
between these two types of bearings will be the power of
the hertzian contact relationship between applied force
and deformation if rollers are considered pairwise.

Fig. 3. Geometrical interference model.

Finally, the equilibrium equations are rewritten to


provide an acceptance inequation. Fig. 3 shows the
geometrical interference between the rolling elements
and the raceways 1 and 2 in a four-contact-point slewing
bearing, which can be analytically expressed as in (1)
appears.
Regarding with force and moment equilibrium,
adapting from expressions developed by Sjovll [10] and
Rumbarger [11], as appear in [13-14], force and moment
equilibrium equations can be written as shown in (2),
where the contributions of raceways 1 and 2 are added.

III. Theoretical approach


This section summarizes the procedure that leads to
the three-dimensional condition of acceptance for the
bearings. First, a model of geometrical interference is
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13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

1 1 cos 01 1 cos 1
2
2
2
2
2


0
1
0 A R M
1 A R M
where 2
0 A R M
2 A R M
and A a sin

1
ZQMAX

R r cos

MT

FA
sin J 1
F A
1
R
JR

cos J 1
M d M
sin

d
2

where:

(1)

MAX 0

0 0

0 MAX
0

0 0
0

l
-l

-l

0 0
0
0

max

max

1
0
2
0

FQ2 1

, 1
, 2

(3)

i
0

1
2

i
MAX

i

MAX

cosd

1
4

i

MAX

(4)

cosd

where q=3/2 for ball bearings and q=29/27 for roller


bearings. Parameter q is called here the bearing type
parameter. The maximum load can be expressed as a
function of the axial load-carrying capacity. This is done
in order to represent graphically the values of FA, FR and
MT that cause permanent deformation in the most loaded
ball, as detailed in [9]. We have:

cos

Q MAX

C0a
Z sin

(5)

When we substitute equation (5) into equation (2), we


obtain:
FA
F
A
QMAX Z sin C 0 a
FR
F
R tan
QMAX Z cos C 0 a

cos 1
0

(6)

MT d
M d
T
C0a
QMAX Z sin

which can be seen as the coordinates of a point in a


three-dimensional diagram,
with
axes
FA/C0a,
(FR/C0a)tan and (MT/d)/C0a. When we study different
interference combinations defined by parameters (A, R,
M) according to equation (1) and solve equations (2) for
each one, the final result is a cloud of points that define
the acceptance surface.

MAX cos1 0
0

MAX 0

i
R

1 0

1

1 0 1 cos
2
2

FQ1

then

J Mi J Mi 0i , i

1 1
1
cos
1
0 2 0 2 0

0 0
0

J J ,

MAX 0

i
R

1 0

1

1 0 1 cos
2

1
1
0
2

J Ai J Ai 0i , i

0
1
1
0 2 0

max

and

(2)

CONDITIONS
AND EQUATIONS

0 0
0

FQ1 1

then 2 max 02 , 2
FQ max 1 , 1

1
1
2
2
02
0 , , 0 ,

if
or
2 max 1 , 1 , 2 , 2
0

Table 1 shows the five different interference cases that


can happen for each raceway, along with the
reformulation of the interference fields over their
maximum values.
INTERFERENCE
CASES

01 max 01 , 1 , 02 , 2

if
or
1 max 1 , 1 , 2 , 2
0

sin

J A2 1
F
J R2 Q2
F
J M2 Q

A19_362

IV. Results of the theoretical approach

l 0

In Fig. 4 the point clouds are represented for q=3/2


and q=29/27, in the {FA/C0a, FRtan/C0a} plane for some
positive intervals of MT/d/C0a and in Figure 5 shows them
in the {FRtan/C0a, MT/d/C0a } plane for some positive
intervals of FA/C0a.

TABLE 1. Five cases of geometrical interference.


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13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

a) q=3/2. Point cloud in the load space of a four contact point angular slewing bearing

b) q=29/27. Point cloud in the load space of a crossed roller slewing bearing
Fig. 4. Cloud of points forming the acceptance surface. {FA/C0a, FRtan/C0a} plane
4

A19_362

13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

a) q=3/2. Point cloud in the load space of a four contact point angular slewing bearing
a)

b) q=29/27. Point cloud in the load space of a crossed roller slewing bearing
Fig. 5. Cloud of points forming the acceptance surface. {FRtan/C0a, MT/d/C0a } plane
5

A19_362

13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

A19_362

the Laboratoire de Gnie Mcanique de Toulouse,


based in the adaptation of the Hertz formulas by Houpert
[18].

Figures 4 and 5 show that the structure of both point


clouds is quite similar.
V. Finite element results for q=3/2
In order to check the influence of the flexibility of the
rings in four contact point angular slewing bearings, the
authors presented in previous work some preliminary
[15] and detailed [16] finite element calculations of a
medium-sized bearing. In the present work a finite
element calculation is to be presented for a smaller four
contact point bearing, just for testing the match between
theoretical results and those given by the finite element
model (It must be noted that the smaller the bearing the
stiffer it will be, if cross sectional data remains constant
and only diameters change). Figure 6 shows the finite
element model of the bearing along with its dimensions:

FA/C0a=0

FA/C0a=0,2

FA/C0a=0,4

212,5
14

168

142

10
FA/C0a=0,6

22 ?

46

46

FA/C0a=0,8

14
286

260

215,5

Fig. 7. FEM results and Theoretical results in {FRtan/C0a, MT/d/C0a }


plane for various values of FA/C0a

FRtan/C0a=0

MT/d/C0a=0


Fig. 6. Geometrical and Finite element model of a small four contact
point angular slewing bearing.

The rolling elements were modeled with the


experimentally validated procedure developed in [17] by

Fig. 8. FEM results and Theoretical results in {FA/C0a, MT/d/C0a } and


{FA/C0a, FRtan/C0a}
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13th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science, Guanajuato, Mxico, 19-25 June, 2011

A19_362

finite element models of crossed roller slewing bearings


to fully complete the aim of the research.

In figures 7 and 8, a comparison is made between the


theoretical solution and the finite element solution. It
should be noted that all the actions are normalized with
respect to the axial load capacity. This load capacity
might be calculated with the finite element model rather
than with standards, due to the high variation of the
contact angle with the load, which increases it greatly.
However, even if the theoretical model does not consider
any change in contact angle, if the axes are normalized
with respect to the axial load capacity given by the finite
element analysis (which takes into account this
variation), figures 7 and 8 show an amazing
correspondence between theoretical and finite element
calculations. From this fact we can conclude that the
contact angle variation has not a decisive influence in the
load distribution.

Acknowledgments
This work is a result of the close collaboration that the
authors maintain with company IRAUNDI S.A. The
authors are grateful for the dedication and generosity
with which Iraundi has provided its know-how for this
work.
References
[1]

[2]

[3]

VI. Future work. Finite element calculations for


q=29/27

[4]

The authors are working now in a parametric finite


element model of crossed roller slewing bearings in order
to check the deviations between the theoretical model and
the finite element model. Each rolling element-raceway
contact has been modeled via a parallel set of 6 nonlinear
compression-only springs in order to check partiality in
the line contact. Some preliminary results have shown
that the theoretical model fits extraordinarily well the
finite element results. In this sense, it must be considered
that in this case the contact angle does not vary with the
applied load and therefore the load distribution predicted
by the theoretical model for a roller bearing is more
accurate than in the case of a ball bearing, though in
some situations and for some rolling elements only
partial line contact arises.

[5]

[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]
[10]
[11]
[12]

Conclusions

[13]

In this work a unified theoretical approach for crossed


roller slewing bearings and four contact point angular
slewing ball bearings has been presented, in order to
arrange their general static load capacity. This general
static load capacity is represented by a surface in the load
space defined by an axial load, a radial load and a tilting
moment. This supposes a generalization of previous work
done by the authors in the field of four contact point ball
bearings.

[14]
[15]

[16]

In order to prove the adequation of the theoretical


model, some finite element calculations have been
presented for a small-sized and very stiff four contact
point ball bearing. The theoretic-experimental correlation
has been successful. Some work remains to be done with

[17]
[18]
7

Aguirrebeitia, J., Abasolo, M., Avils, R. Fernandez de Bustos, I.


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