In today’s industrial world, bearings are used in traditional applications such as automotive, steel mills, paper mills, railways as well as high precision applications such as aerospace, medical, renewable energy etc. Regardless of application, residual stresses play an important role in the service life of a bearing. In general, bearings experience Hertzian stresses in the order of 2-3 GPa with maximum stresses generated in the subsurface. Depending upon the magnitude and nature (tensile or compressive), the residual stresses enhance or reduce the application stresses. The residual stresses are generated during each stage of manufacturing process. For bearing components, the manufacturing stages include – tube rolling, green machining followed by heat treatment and final finishing. Majority of bearings are finished using abrasive grinding to achieve the final size and shape. The work holding and material removal during the grinding process can cause significant distortion. Distortion of bearing components is ab significant issue, especially for thin sectioned components, leading to high scrap rates. In this study, diffraction was utilized to understand the evolution of through thickness residual stresses after abrasive grinding on a thin walled bearing component. The results from neutron diffraction were coupled with distortion measurement especially the out of roundness to understand the effect of the final processing on the residual stress state present in the bearings.
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