Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) of Silicon Nitride Rolling Elements for Bearings
Small Business Information
SOUTHWEST SCIENCES, INC.
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505
AbstractHybrid silicon nitride ceramic rolling element/metal ring bearing technology is a valid candidate to meet the high performance requirements of gas turbine aircraft engines and hybrid bearings are beginning to be introduced into engines aboard aircraft. However, success in these demanding applications requires the development of a reliable, high throughput non-destructive evaluation (NDE) method that can offer 100% inspection of each ceramic rolling element at manufacturing and maintenance facilities. Southwest Sciences proposes an innovative optical NDE method that will provide automated, real time and reliable detection of surface and subsurface defects that can compromise bearing performance and operational safety. The method will meet the detection and throughput criteria specified by the Air Force. BENEFIT: The proposed optical NDE method will improve the cost effectiveness of hybrid bearing technology by reducing the inspection time and cost. Operational perfomance and safety of engines and turbines incorporating these bearings will be improved. Military and commercial aircraft engine manufacturers, ceramic bearing manufacturers, and the industrial gas turbine industry will benefit from the technology developed under this SBIR project.
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