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This paper offers an automated system for measuring the operating radial clearance in a rolling contact bearing under load. During exploitation of units working under friction, erosion processes take place on the working surfaces of those units. Depending on values of the load applied to the bearing, inner race rotation velocity, presence of lubricant and abrasive particles in it, oxidative, abrasive or fatigue erosion can develop on the surfaces of rolling tracks and rolls themselves that can lead to rapid increase in the operating radial clearance. High value of the operating radial clearance during bearing exploitation means that erosion process is taking place. On the other hand, small value of the operating radial clearance is also not permissible because it can lead to wedging of the bearing, and that in turn can lead to an accident and damage of expensive equipment. Thus, one can draw a conclusion that in critical units of industrial equipment there is a need in constant monitoring of the bearing condition including their operating radial clearances. The paper shows that an automated system for measuring the operating radial clearance in a rolling contact bearing can be developed using a vibration sensor that registers vibration acceleration caused by vibration in the inner race of the bearing installed on the rotating shaft. Calculation of the operating radial clearance value is done by the program after it read the values of measured vibration acceleration from vibration signal analysis devices via Ethernet. The developed system can be integrated into the existing vibration analysis and condition monitoring systems for industrial objects thus increasing the quantity of diagnostic information about condition of rolling contact bearing as the most critical unit in many industrial mechanisms.


Radial clearance, measurement, automated system, monitoring, vibration analysis, working clearance, rolling contact bearing, friction unit, rolling surface, bearing support, vibration acceleration, vibration displacement.

Evgeniy N. Ishmetyev

D.Sc. (Eng.), Director of Strategic Development, CJSC “KonsOM SKS”, Magnitogorsk, Russia.

Dmitry V. Chistyakov

Ph.D. in Social Sciences, Executive Director, CJSC “KonsOM SKS”, Magnitogorsk, Russia.

Alexander N. Panov

Ph.D. (Eng.), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Innovation, CJSC “KonsOM SKS”, Magnitogorsk, Russia.

Evgeny E. Bodrov

Ph.D. (Eng.), Associate Professor of the Electronics and Microelectronics Department, Nosov Magnitogorsk State Tech-nical University, Magnitogorsk, Russia.

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