LOW SPEED ROLLING BEARING DIAGNOSTICS USING ACOUSTIC EMISSION AND HIGHER ORDER STATISTICS TECHNIQUES

Author(s): 

O. Henry Omoregbee* and P. Stephan Heyns

Affiliation(s): 

Centre for Asset Integrity Management, Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. Corresponding Author Email: omoregbeeho@gmail.com*

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Diagnostics in low speed rolling element bearings is difficult. Not only are normal frequency domain diagnostics methods not appropriate for this application, but the bearing response signals are usually immersed in background noise which make it difficult to detect these faults. Higher order statistics (HOS) techniques have been available for decades but have not been widely applied to machine condition monitoring with the exceptions of skewness and kurtosis. There is however reason to believe that these HOS techniques could play an important role in acoustic emission (AE) based condition monitoring of rolling element bearings at low speeds provided appropriate care is taken. To explore this hypothesis, AE signals at low bearing rotational speeds of 70, 80, 90 and 100 rpm respectively were used in this work for the monitoring of tapered roller bearings. In addition to the well-established statistical parameters such as mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis, higher moments such as hyper flatness are considered in this study. A novel diagnostic method is proposed for fault extraction based on hyperflatness, combined with Kullback-Leibler divergence, and an indicator formula derived with the use of Lempel-Ziv Complexity is given. The Kullback-Leibler divergence is used together with the skewness and hyperflatness to obtain the Kullback-Leibler information Wave (KLW)with which the analysis is performed, and better results obtained as compared to conventional frequency domain analysis.