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L10 bearing fatigue life testing is a costly and prolonged process, as the bearing is characteristically designed for durability and reliability. Within the current testing methods, faulty materials still have the potential of passing the test. However, with this life test rig, the bearing will be tested to failure, thus providing an indicator for its predicted life span.

The purpose of this project is to optimize and construct a L10 life test rig for accelerated fatigue testing of the Association of American Railroad Class K, 6 ½ x 9-inch double-row tapered roller bearing to their maximum fatigue life as quickly as possible with the use of an axial load.

This Senior Design team has developed and improved upon a proposed design for an accelerated life test rig capable of testing tapered roller bearings to failure. The past design allowed for 4 bearings, but due to time restrictions, financial limitations, and other factors its construction was not feasible. Therefore, the team has designed and revised a test rig for 1 bearing. The current, radially loaded testing method takes 1.57 years to test a bearing to failure, whereas with the axially loaded method will take about 73 days. Additionally, the team will construct the single bearing test rig to verify that axial loading is an effective means of reducing the applied load in addition to reducing the normal test run time while still achieving the same single roller fatigue results across all of the rollers. The development of this test rig will allow Brenco to perform more testing of roller materials in a shorter amount of time, which will result in a higher capacity of research to determine higher quality materials.

Publication Date



Mechanical and nuclear engineering, bearing, fatigue


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Charles Cartin

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Michael Mason

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Tapered Roller Bearing Accelerated Life Test Rig Design and Fabrication