Testing of bearing materials for large two-stroke marine diesel engines

Anders Vølund, Peder Klit, Sebastian Persson

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    In large two-stroke marine diesel engines, bearings are designed to last the lifetime of the engine. The design has shown very good service experiences. The design parameters of the main bearings are, among others, based on the average maximum specific load which the bearing should operate under. In general, the frictional loss is less than 1% of the nominal power of the engine but is still a target for optimization. Fatigue mechanisms of bearing lining material are not fully understood and the design limits with regards to minimum oil film thickness, max oil film pressure and oil film pressure gradient are not established. Large two-stroke journal bearings are not suitable for fatigue test due to the size, the low rotational speed and the complexity of such a test-rig. The disc fatigue test rig was designed with the purpose to test white metal coatings under realistic bearing conditions, in a confined time-frame. The test-rig simulates a scale model of a thrust bearing, in contrary to standard design, the bearing lining material is applied to the rotating collar. Parameters, such as bearing load, rotational speed, oil temperature, oil contamination is controlled/monitored in order to achieve repeatability and a systematic approach to the experiments. Test performed on the test-rig shows good correlation on the fatigue cracks with those experienced on large two-stroke journal bearings.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)503-508
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Damage
    • Fatigue
    • Oil film pressure
    • Test rig
    • White metal


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