Modeling and Experimental Verification of the Axial Stiffness for a Wire Race Ball Bearing

X. Shan, T. Xie, W. Chen, and L. Wang (PRC)


Wire race ball bearing, contact problem, axial stiffness, mathematical modeling


As a kind of non-standard bearings, the wire race ball bearing is widely used in the high-tech weapon system. It is very important to study the stiffness of this kind of bearing. A mathematical model of the axial stiffness was firstly developed by treating the contact problem between balls and wires as an equivalent contact spring. The non conformal Hertz contact theory, the principle of virtual displacement, the cosine law, L’Hospital’s rule and the definition of stiffness were employed in the mechanical analysis for the ball-wire contact problem. A wire race ball bearing with a 1000 mm diameter used in a certain type of three-axis aircraft simulating rotary table was provided. The numerical solution of the axial stiffness was performed in MATLAB® . The experimental system for measuring the axial stiffness was built. The comparison between the theoretical and experimental results shows that the theoretical result is slightly higher than the experimental result. The validity of the developed mathematical model for the axial stiffness was verified. This work provides a critical support for the research on the complex contact analysis.

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