PhD Studentship in Further Understanding of Rolling Contact Fatigue in Rolling Bearings University of Southampton, nCATS Group United Kingdom

PhD Studentship: Further Understanding of Rolling Contact Fatigue in Rolling Bearings.


nCATS Group


Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date: Wednesday 24 January 2018

Reference: 830117BX

Project Reference: EngSci-NCATS-123


Rolling element bearings have been widely used in automotive, industrial, marine, and aerospace applications. Modern rolling bearings have extremely long lives and typically fail through rolling contact fatigue (RCF) mechanisms due to material failure caused by the application of repeated cyclic stresses to a small volume of material.


Rolling contact fatigue can manifest by the formation of microstructural damage such as dark etching regions (DERs) and white etching bands (WEBs) under medium to high contact pressures and high rolling cycles. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the features in DERs and WEBs as well as their formation mechanisms over the past few decades. However it is still unclear how the operating conditions and material properties are related to the rate of failure due to DER and WEB as well as causes of the specific angles seen (30° and 80°) in WEBs.


This project aims to further understand rolling contact fatigue especially the formation mechanisms and drivers of DER and WEBs by forensic analysis of material degradation processes under RCF conditions.


The successful candidate will work closely with the Tribology Centre (nCATS) and the engineering materials group within the University as well as the Schaeffler Group in Germany.


Applicants with strong mechanical engineering (tribology, materials, lubrication, etc.) background are welcome to apply for the studentship or get in touch to find more details about this research project.


If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr. Ling Wang, nCATS research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5076.


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