Development of an intelligent ball bearing with self-sensing and self-powering capabilities

Bearings are typically located in the heart of all rotating applications, with rotational speeds, forces, and vibrations impacting them somehow. Due to various reasons, such as fatigue, bearings encounter abrupt operation failure that damages surrounding components. In some applications, such as wind turbines and high-speed trains, it is expensive to replace the bearing and other damaged parts, despite the threat to humans’ lives. Since condition monitoring requires expensive sensors, many small industries still use conventional methods like run-to-break. They let the system fail and then do the maintenance or use preventive maintenance to check the system regularly at constant intervals.Our proposed intelligent bearing will significantly change how maintenance can be executed. Specifically, the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things-based smart bearings can self-diagnose impending faults and failures using sensors integrated into the bearings themselves. This intelligent bearing is different from traditional solutions for condition monitoring, which usually involve a standalone sensor mounted near the bearing. Instead, the sensor is integrated inside the bearing structure to measure bearing speed, direction, and strain distribution.

Payam Badpa
Faculty Supervisor: 
Xihui Liang
Partner University: