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Observation of time-frequency characteristics of the acoustic emission from defects in rolling element bearings

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Parameter analysis is a traditional and widely used method for the analysis of acoustic emission (AE) signals due to its simplicity and easy realisation. However, this approach has limitations and is not suitable for detailed analysis of the signals, and waveform-based methods are becoming attractive for the analysis of AE signals. This paper uses waveform-based analysis methods to investigate the timefrequency characteristics of AE signals arising from defects in rolling element bearings. This includes the composition of the signals, the generation mechanism of the defects and the influence of the operational condition of the bearing on these characteristics. The wavelet scalogram of the continuous wavelet transform is used to perform the qualitative analysis and the discrete wavelet transform is used for the quantitative analysis. The results demonstrate that the operational condition of the bearing will influence the time domain, the frequency domain and the time-frequency domain characteristics of the AE signals in various ways. The results also prove that the wavelet transform, and especially the wavelet scalogram, has great potential for the waveform-based analysis of AE signals from defects.

Keywords: acoustic emission; condition monitoring; rolling element bearing; wavelet transform

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 The State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China.

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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