Comparison of Corrosion Properties of Bearing Steels

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Michael F. Hurley


Bearing steels are a family of hardened steel alloys typically used for applications which require moving components. Given bearing steels’ prevalence in the aerospace industry, recent interest has arose regarding their corrosion properties. Corrosion resistance correlates with wear resistance and can provide a metric to assess and predict the relative wear lifetime of a bearing steel. Historically, an emphasis has been placed on designing bearing steels for high hardness values and a long fatigue life. However, low corrosion resistance can accelerate the wear rate of a bearing steel leading to unanticipated failure of the bearing component, increased maintenance cost, and possible catastrophic failure of an aircraft. This research aims to correlate the composition and microstructure of new candidate bearing steels with corrosion resistance. Generally, higher chromium content in the bearing steel gives higher corrosion resistance, but also greater cost and lower hardness. An optimized surface treatment is being sought. The corrosion properties of bearing steels with different surface treatments were determined using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The steel microstructure was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Results indicated that the corrosion rate is dependent on composition, microstructure, and surface hardening method.

This document is currently not available here.