Carburization induced extra-long rolling contact fatigue life of high carbon bearing steel

Zhaoxi Cao, Tianqi Liu, Feng Yu, Wenquan Cao, Xiaodan Zhang*, Yuqing Weng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


For the first time, vacuum carburization surface treatment was applied to high carbon bearing steel 100Cr6. The rolling contact fatigue (RCF) life and the wear behavior of 100Cr6 with and without carburization were compared and the microstructure was characterized. The carburization results in 30 vol% cementite and ~20 vol% retained austenite in the surface layer, significantly higher than those processed by the conventional heat treatment. RCF life (L10) is significantly enhanced by more than 10 times from 1 × 107 cycles to ≥1 × 108 cycles by carburization. This enhancement is attributed to plate/rod cementite and retained austenite.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105351
JournalInternational Journal of Fatigue
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Vacuum carburization
  • High carbon bearing steel
  • Rolling contact fatigue
  • Coefficient of friction
  • Gradient distribution of carbides

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