Wind Turbines are often times hard to maintain in good shape. Many times they fail at an early age which it is not convenient. Therefore, Schaffler at wind energy Hamburg came up with a WEC (white etching cracks) resistance rolling bearings. He explained that theses cracks are usually changes in the material structure that form below bearing raceway. Therefore, Schaffler developed a process to mainly do research and come up with causes of this WEC. He also offered special designs bearing to prevent early failure. To be able to do this first there had to be a reproduction of WEC damage, to be able to reproduce the damage, the causes of the damage must be found and researched. Lot of testing has been done and many of the tests were hard to conclude since the causes has not been fully determined. Research requires reliable testing methods. After a lot of testing with special engineers it has been found the Hydrogen hypothesis is the most accurate explanation. Hydrogen hypotheses “describes how, under certain conditions, hydrogen can ingress into the steel” this may cause change in the material of the microstructure.
To fix the Hydogen hypothesis, there are 2 basic approaches. One approach suggests to reduce additional loads meaning by using oil and viscosity the load on the bearing cause by vibrations can be reduced. For this to happen cooperation for all the partners that are included in the process must cooperate. The other approach is coating the bearings meaning adding more coats to the pieces to be able to prevent hydrogen from entering the bearing material.
With a lot of research Schaffler Technologies has been able to provide many solutions for the WEC problem which has been very beneficial.
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