Bearing condition monitoring is a widely studied field, but applications to the automotive industry have received little attention as the bearing failure rates are typically low in traditional internal combustion engine vehicles with 200 – 300k mile lifespans. The rapid advancement of electric and autonomous vehicles enables vehicles with million-mile lifespans. This implies that the reliable life of existing bearing designs is exceeded throughout the vehicle life, which can potentially lead to vehicle failure. To enable the development of a bearing fault detection and prognostics system, healthy and faulty bearing data must be collected, and the ground-truth states of the health of bearings need to be determined for algorithm refinement and validation. This work explores the fault injecting options, and ground-truthing together with their limitations. Two methods based on precision machining and seeded spalling are developed and used to inject inner race faults in a ball bearing. A non-invasive ground-truthing method is proposed to quantify the state of health of the fault injected bearings in which bench test data is collected under various speed and load conditions. The vibration signals from the bench tests are used to calculate the root-square of the area under the acceleration Power Spectral Density curve (known as GRMS) for each speed and load condition. To remove the dependency of the results on load and speed conditions, a speed-load-GRMS plot is generated, and a plane is fitted to the data for each fault level. Next, the volume under the plot is calculated, yielding a single cumulative GRMS value for each fault level. This value is used as the ground-truth health of bearing for each fault level. For the bearing with the faults injected using precision machining fault injection, the obtained ground-truth values are 1.56, 3.68, and 4.36 times larger than the same figure for the healthy bearing for the faults with the widths of 0.1 mm, 0.5 mm, and 2 mm, respectively. The observed correlation between the fault sizes and the calculated ground-truth values validates the proposed method which can provide a good separation among different health states of a bearing.
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bearing, fault injection, spalling, ground truth, prognostics
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