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Rolling-contact fatigue (RCF) is a surface damage process due to the repeated application of stresses when the surfaces of two bodies roll on each other. This article briefly describes the various surface cracks caused by manufacturing processing faults or blunt impact loads on ceramic balls surfaces. It discusses the propagation of fatigue cracks involved in rolling contacts. The characteristics of various types of RCF test machines are summarized. The article concludes with a discussion on the various failure modes of silicon nitride in rolling contact. These include the spalling fatigue failure, the delamination failure, and the rolling-contact wear.

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Y. Wang, M. Hadfield, 2002. "Rolling-Contact Fatigue of Ceramics", Failure Analysis and Prevention, William T. Becker, Roch J. Shipley

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