Modelling the Contact between the Rolling Elements and the Raceways of Bulky Slewing Bearings
In slewing bearings, a great number of contact pairs are present on the contact surfaces between the rolling elements and raceways of the bearing. Computations to determine the load of the individual rolling elements, taking into account the flexibility of the bearing ring, are most often carried out using the finite element method. Construction of a FEM full model of the bearing, taking into account the shape of the rolling elements and the determination of the contact problem for every rolling element, leads to a singularity of stiffness matrix, which in turn makes the problem impossible to solve. In FEM models the rolling elements are replaced by one-dimensional finite elements (linear elements) to simplify the computation procedure and to obtain an optimal time for computations. The methods of modelling the rolling elements in the slewing bearing, in which balls have been replaced by truss elements with a material non-linear characteristic located between the raceway centres of the curvatures in their axial section, are presented in the paper.
M. Krynke et al., "Modelling the Contact between the Rolling Elements and the Raceways of Bulky Slewing Bearings", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 490, pp. 166-178, 2012