Skip to main content

RCF Controller


A Rolling Contact Fatigue (RCF) apparatus induces complex subsurface stress states in bearing steel materials.  This produces significant microstructural alterations and fractures within the material that can be studied for classification and improvement anywhere that bearings are used.

This RCF apparatus replaces and improves a nearly 50 year old analog system that was starting to fail.  The new system works by controlling a bearing drive motor and continuously monitoring the vibration levels (calculated through an analog integration of raw piezoelectric sensor readings) present on a rotating sample and triggers immediately when a user-programmable stop condition is met.  Time to failure is then displayed to the user.  This particular system features a battery backup that pauses the test and allows the user to resume the test when power is restored.  This is particularly helpful, as the tests can run 30 days or more before failure.

Research Group: Farshid Sadeghi, Mechanical Engineering
Lab Contact: Dallin Morris, Mechanical Engineering
Amy Contact: Greg Eakins, Chemistry