Influence of lubrication on power losses in deep groove ball bearings with limited applied load

Dr. Charlotte Fossier
Dr. Luc Amar

Value for the audience

Comparison of bearing power loss measurements with different lubrication methods


Rolling element bearings (REBs) are essential components of mechanical transmissions, especially in transport sector. Oil jet and oil bath lubrications are commonly used in these applications. Power losses in REBs are growing concerns with rotational speed becoming high, as in electric vehicles.

The aim of this study is to investigate differences between injection and oil-bath lubrications in REBs and to test the assumptions and reliability of the existing power losses models, compared to experiments.

A specific test rig is used to measure REB power losses and temperatures for different operating conditions [1]. Tests are performed for different rotational speed, but also for several oil flow rates or oil levels, respectively for oil-jet or oil-bath lubrication. Only deep groove ball bearings are tested with a limited applied load. Bearing temperatures and torque are measured. Experimental results are analysed in order to quantify the impact of the two lubrication methods.

Several power loss models are used in this study: global models (such as Harris [2]) and local models. Global models use parameters depending on lubrication type that may need to be adjusted. A local approach is also used, calculating each source of dissipation separately (Sliding, Hydrodynamic Rolling and Drag). A comparison between measurements and model simulations should validate or highlight the limits of these models.


[1] D. Niel, C. Changenet, F. Ville and M. Octrue, “A new test rig to study rolling element bearing thermomechanical behaviour,” in International Gear Conference, Lyon, 2018.

[2] T. A. Harris, Rolling Bearing Analysis, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 1991.


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