Micro Pitting on Rolling Bearings I


The influence of transient operating conditions on the formation of micro pitting in rolling bearings and clarification of the mechanisms

  Micro pitting on the track for a spherical roller bearing [FAG06] Copyright: © MSE


This research project succeeded in determining critical operating conditions that cause micro pitting in rolling bearings and in deriving fundamental correlations with respect to the location and intensity of such micro pitting. These can be summarized as follows:

  • Mixed friction conditions and a lubricant critical to micro pitting are the basic requirements for micro pitting in rolling bearings.
  • Micro pitting presents itself differently in gears than in rolling bearings, with respect to its emergence and spread. In gearing, the first micro pitting appears in the area of large amounts of slippage and extends from there. In roller bearings by contrast, with low amounts of negative slippage.


Rolling bearings in highly dynamic applications, such as wind turbines, show damage in the form of micro pitting that cannot be explained by classic rolling bearing fatigue theory. The reasons for this are so far largely unknown. This project is designed to help assess the risk of micro pitting in rolling bearings and to reveal possible corrective measures and additional design criteria.

  Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Copyright: © BMWK

Promoted by

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

  FVA Logo Copyright: © AIF FVA

Project Sponsor

Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen e.V., AIF for short

Research Association for Drive Technology, FVA for short