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International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

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International Journal of Thermal Sciences

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Thermal-deformation coupling in thermal network for transient

analysis of spindle-bearing system
Ke Yan a, Jun Hong a, b, *, Jinhua Zhang b, Wei Mi b, Wenwu Wu b

Key Laboratory of Education Ministry for Modern Design and Rotor-Bearing System, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing System Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 5 June 2015
Received in revised form
9 November 2015
Accepted 15 December 2015
Available online xxx

Transient analysis by thermal network method for complex structures like the spindle-bearing system is
essential but insufcient. In this paper, the network approach was developed for spindle transient
analysis in consideration of thermal-structure interaction. Firstly, the radial and axial deformation of
spindle system during assembling process, deformation by thermal extension and centrifugal effect were
all obtained. Then the transient analysis was deduced based on traditional steady model, the thermaldeformation coupling and some other time-varying parameters. Experiment results indicate that temperature by steady model is of large deviation, while by the transient model is much more accurate.
Finally, the temperature rising curves, the balance time of the spindle system and temperature rise
feature for continuous working conditions were all achieved and discussed.
2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Transient thermal analysis
Thermal-deformation coupling
Spindle-bearing system

1. Introduction
Transient thermal analysis and temperature rise monitoring for
spindle-bearing system, especially high precise system, is crucial in
the design and optimization stage. The rotating spindle is a thermal
time-varying system, in which the lubricant viscosity, heat sources
and boundary conditions are all variable, depends on its temperature distribution. Meanwhile, the complex structure deformation,
induced by thermal stress, centrifugal stress and other stresses
(such as stress induced during the installation process, hereinafter
referred to as assembling stress), affects the system thermal and
precise feature. The tolerance by thermal deformation is more than
50% of the total error [1]. Therefore, transient thermal analysis, in
consideration of the thermal-deformation coupling, is much
needed for spindle-bearing system.
Many contributions for spindle thermal analysis were conducted based on nite element method, such as J. Cao [2] and J. You
[3]. The steady thermal analysis of a mechanical spindle was
investigated by T. Holkup [4], the temperature distribution and
deformation for spindle in different bearing arrangement situation
was obtained. Thermal induced preload and spindle system

* Corresponding author. Key Laboratory of Education Ministry for Modern Design

and Rotor-Bearing System, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China.
E-mail address: (J. Hong).
1290-0729/ 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

stiffness were also discussed. Similarly, the work by J.F. Tu [5] gives
settlement ways, which were veried by experimental test, for
steady and transient analysis in condition of different thermal
boundary. In addition, E. Creighton [6] suggested the optimal
approach for spindle thermal characteristics and compensation
ways for thermal extension. Above all, for spindle thermal analysis
in both steady and transient conditions, the ways based on FEM
were theoretically well developed, but its application was limited,
due to its complicated meshing and contact pairs setting for polytropic and complex engineering problems. A thermal mechanical
coupling model was given by C.W. Lin [7] based on nite element
approach, and the stiffness change induced by centrifugal effect
was discussed. The insufcient is, the inuence of bearing stiffness
on its thermal feature was neglected. Another thermal mechanical
model by H.Q. Li and Y.C. Shin [8e11] contains three parts, the
nonlinear bearing, spindle and thermal model, which can be used
to predict the static and dynamic stiffness, temperature distribution and bearing contact load. However, the centrifugal effect and
bearing gyroscopic effect were lacked in their model. Y.Z. Cao and Y.
Altintas [12] analyzed the relationship between spindle stiffness
and preload, by integrating the Jones' bearing model and spindle
model via FEM. And the dynamic characteristics of spindle system
in both xed-pressure and xed-position pretension condition
were studied [13,14]. However, the extension and thermal deformation during spindle rotation were ignored in all the above
models. The spindle dynamic model and thermal model were all

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12



Greek letters
contact angle/rad
thermal extension coefcient/K1
poisson ratio
thermal conductivity/W(mm K)1
viscosity/mm2 s1
density/kg m3
angular velocity/rad s1
stress component/Pa

strain component

structural size/mm
bearing total curvature
specic heat/J$(kg K)1
bearing balls' diameter/mm
bearing external diameter/mm
bearing internal diameter/mm
inner ring external diameter/mm
outer ring internal diameter/mm
elasticity modulus/Pa
axial load/N
heat transfer coefcient/W$(mm2 K)1
bearing axial size/mm
axial displacement constant
assembling stress/Pa
heat ux/W m2
heat source/W
shaft radius/mm
thermal resistance/K W1
temperature difference/K
structural deformation/mm

deduced by Y. Lu [15,16], unfortunately the thermal mechanical

coupling was not achieved. Based on the above simplication and
assumptions, H.Q. Li and Y.C. Shin [17], A. Zahedi [18] completed the
thermal mechanical model for rotating spindle, and the results
shown that, bearing arrangement condition has signicant inuence on its thermal feature. Similar work by X.A. Chen [19] through
spindle thermal experiment indicated that, thermal deformation of
rotating spindle greatly affects its dynamic and stiffness
Due to the limitation in meshing and boundary condition
treatment, the computation of FEM is complicated. By contrast, the
advantage of thermal network method in complex system analysis
is embodied [20]. Spindle temperature distribution, the effect of
bearing preload and rotation were investigated by D.Y. Huang [21]
via thermal network method. Besides, much steady analysis, such
as heat transfer resistance and equations by X.Q. Jiang [22], the
equivalent model by F. Benabid [23] for grinding cutter system, the
power loss and temperature rise in different resistance coefcients
by F. Pouly [24], the temperature contribution for deep groove ball
bearing system in different preload conditions by J. Takabi [25], was
analyzed by network approach. For comparison and validation, the
steady temperature eld of spindle system in normal oil lubrication
was solved by thermal network and FEM [26], physical property
parameter, heat transfer coefcient and thermal resistance were all
calculated. For steady case, the advantages of thermal network
method in computation time, accuracy and facility were apparent.
The two methods were also compared in steady temperature eld
analysis of high speed vehicle bearing-spindle system by L. Xin [27].
Currently, thermal network method is widely used in steady
system, the change of heat sources and heat transfer boundaries
were all ignored. Therefore, the study of transient thermal characteristic of spindle-bearing system by thermal network is lacking.
Besides, the calculation tolerance by steady method is relatively
large, transient temperature rise and thermal balance time of key
subassemblies, are all out of acquisition. In addition to this, stress



inner ring
outer ring
axial direction
radial direction

(thermal, centrifugal and assembling) and thermal induced preload

greatly inuent the deformation and thermal boundary, thereby
the system temperature distribution [28,29]. Above all, for spindlebearing transient thermal analysis in consideration of thermal
mechanical coupling, the methodology for irrelevant of FEM is
needed but absent.
In this paper, spindle system radial deformation, induced by
assembling stress, thermal and centrifugal stress, was calculated.
The effects of assemble tolerance and thermal extension on system
axial deformation were also considered. Based on the network
method for steady case, the transient thermal analysis equations
were deduced, and the coupling effect between temperature distribution and structure deformation was achieved during the iteration of transient analysis. For validation purpose, multiparameters of a spindle-bearing system rig from NSK were monitored and compared with the transient calculation results. In the
end, the transient thermal feature, such as the effects of different
stresses, thermal balance time, temperature rise process of the
spindle-bearing system, were all discussed.
2. Spindle system deformation
For a rotating spindle system, structure deformation by temperature rise and centrifugal effect is inherent. In radial direction,
deformation by assembling stress, such as stress between bearing
inner ring and shaft (always interference t), outer ring and
housing (always clearance t), are crucial. While for axial deformation, the installation error between rings and spacers, the
extension by preload and temperature rising, are also not
2.1. Radial deformation
The schematic diagram of spindle-bearing system was shown in
Fig. 1. The shaft inner radius is a, the inner and outer radiuses of

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

Fig. 1. The arrangement diagram of spindle bearing system.

bearing inner ring are b and c, for outer ring are d and e, respectively. The housing outer radius is denoted as f. The steady temperature values for the above subassemblies are T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6,
in sequence.

2.1.1. Inner ring

The radiuses of bearing rings are much larger than their axial
width, so the rings here were supposed to be hollow disks with
axisymmetric temperature distribution. According to the elastic
mechanics theory, the balance equation for a hollow disk in cylindrical coordinate system gives:

dsr sr  sq

ru2 r 0


The geometric equations are as follow:



r vq  1 mb$DT
1  m2


q vr  1 mb$DT
1  m2


where sr and sq respectively denotes the stress components in

radial and tangential direction, Pa, and r, q for strain components.
Substituting Eqs. (2)e(4) into Eq. (1), and yields,

d2 u 1 du u
dDT 1  m2 2
 1 mb

ru r

dr 2 r dr r 2


Based on heat transfer principle, for single layer cylinder with

inner (outer) radius ri (ro) and steady temperature value Ti (To),
temperature distribution in radial direction follows the logistic


DTo  DTi
lnro =ri

3mru2 r 2


In which k (DT3  DT2)/ln(c/b), n DT2klnb.

For interference t between inner ring and shaft with d1
magnitude, the assembling stress p1 during installation process can
be derived as follow:


Ed1 c2  b2 b2  a2
c2  a2


For inner surface of inner ring, the stress in radial direction is p1,
and the outer surface is free face. So the boundary conditions for
bearing inner ring can be described as:


Substituting the above boundary conditions into Eq. (8), and one
obtains the constants C1 and C2:



1m h

 8p1 b2 3mru2 c4 b4
8E c b

b1v 2k4n b2 c2 4k c2 lncb2 lnb

8 c2 b2


1 mc2 b2 h

 8p1 3 mru2 c2  b2
8E c  b

b2 c2 1 m

 kbln c  ln b
2 c 2  b2


In Eq. (7), items contain DT denote the effect of thermal stress on

system radial deformation, items with u mean the effect of centrifugal force. The effect of assembling stress is calculated in constants C1 and C2. So the total radial deformation of the spindle
system by the three stresses can be achieved by solving Eq. (7).
Substituting C1 and C2 into Eq. (7), one obtains the radial deformation of bearing inner ring at random radius r.


Substituting Eq. (6) into Eq. (5) and integrates, then one obtains
the expressions of radial deformation and stress:


r b; sr p1 ; r c; sr 0

The stressestrain equations are:



1 mb
1  m2 ru2 r 3
rn k$ln r  k=2 C1 r 2 

2.1.2. Outer ring and housing

Similar to bearing inner ring, the radial deformation of outer
ring and housing can be equivalent to hollow disks. The difference
is, the outer ring and housing are all static in operation, so the
centrifugal effect should be excluded. To this end, substituting u 0
into Eqs. (7)e(8), then the expressions for radial deformation were

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

For clearance t between outer ring and housing with d2

magnitude, i.e. d2 magnitude for interference t, the assembling
stress p2 can be derived from the following equation:

Ed f 2  e2 e2  d2
p2  23
f 2  d2


For outer surface of bearing outer ring, the stress in radial direction is p2, and the inner surface is free face. So the boundary
conditions can be described as:

r d; sr 0; r e; sr p2


For housing, the boundary conditions are:

r e; sr p2 ; r f ; sr 0


Based on the stress expressions in Eqs. (11) and (12), the corresponding constants can be derived by the above boundary expressions. Then similarly, the radial deformation of outer ring and
housing can be calculated by Eq. (7).
2.1.3. Shaft neck
The axial length of spindle shaft is much larger than the sizes of
its cross section, so the radial deformation of spindle shaft is
equivalent to a beam with uniform cross section. Based on the
equations for plane stress problem, replace the constants E, b, m
with E/(1m2), b(1m) and m(1m), then one obtains the corresponding plane strain equations.
Based on Eqs. (7)e(8), the radial deformation and stress for
plane stress problem can be achieved via the above transformation:


1 mb
rn2 k2 $ln r  k2 =2 C3 r 4
21  m


1 m1  2m ru2 r 3
E1  m

n2 k2 $lnrk2 =2
1m 12m r
32mru2 r 2



where k2 (DT2DT1)/ln(b/a), n2 DT1k2lna.

For interference t between inner ring and shaft, the assembling
stress equals p1, seen in Eq. (9). The boundary conditions are:

r a; sr 0; r b; sr p1


Similarly, the constants C3 and C4 in the above equations can be

expressed as follow:


Fig. 2. The arrangement of bearing inside spindle system.

Substituting C3 and C4 into Eq. 16 and 17, one obtains the total
radial deformation of spindle shaft.
2.2. Bearing preload and axial deformation
As known to all, system axial deformation and preload inuent
each other. The installation process affects bearing initial preload,
and the preload affects axial deformation and bearing frictional
heat. Then thermal deformation by frictional heat alters its preload,
vice versa. Hence the interaction between preload and axial
deformation should be calculated in spindle-bearing system transient thermal analysis.
2.2.1. Axial assembling deformation on additional preload
For a given spindle system with two front and two rear bearings,
back to back installation with xed-position pre-tightening (the
spindle structure will be illustrate in the sections below). The
preload was adjusted by high precise and high stiffness spacers. The
interaction of the two bearings in the same end can be treated as
tandem bearings, seen in Fig. 2. The total preload force is Fa, while
for the rear bearing is Fa2. During the installation process, bearing
rings width size and deviation are W, J1 and J2, for spacer bush
they are L, J3 and J4, respectively. During the preloading
procedure, in case the rear bearing is preloaded rst, and its out
ring axial deformation equals Dd. Because the deformation is
induced by tolerance between outer ring and spacer bush, the
deformation is among the follow range:

 a1m12m2k 4n b2 a2  4k a2 lnab2 lnb
32m 2  4

 8p1 b2


8E b2 a2
8 a2 b2 1m

0  Dd  2j1 j2 j3 j4 Dd sin a

1 ma2 b2
3  2m 2  2


8E b2  a2
a2 b2 1 m

k2 bln a  ln b
2 a  b2 1  m




where Dd is the dimensional deviation of roller diameter, mm.

Suppose the axial displacement between inner and outer rings,
for front and rear bearings, are respectively da1 and da2. In case the
rear bearing is preloaded rst, one obtains,

da2 Dd da1


K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

According to the static model, bearing deformation can be

derived as follow [30]:

ZKn2 Bf2 1:5

sin a2

cos a02
cos a2


Bf2 sina2  a02

cos a2


Based on NewtoneRaphson equation, the above static model

can be solved with the following iteration item:


ZKn1 n Bf2


 sin an2

!2 "

cos a02
cos an2  1

sin 2an2

cos a02
cos an2  1

cos a02
cos an2  1

gradient are all variable around and inside the contact area, and the
transient thermal feature is directly affected. In order to consider
these factors in transient analysis, nodes distribution was modied
in this paper, seen in Fig. 3(b) and (c).
In Fig. 3(b), a ve-node model was proposed to consider temperature difference of rings, and in Fig. 3(c), a seven-node model
was presented to study the thermal difference of subassemblies
and also the vicinal lubricant. For the three-node model, the
resistance, i.e. the contact thermal resistance [31], between balls
and rings can be written as:


In case the front bearing is preloaded rst, the preload and

deformation can be derived similarly.
2.2.2. Thermal extension on additional preload
In condition of initial and additional preload above, the initial
axial displacement u0 of inner ring can be denoted as:


The difference of thermal deformation between inner and outer

ring can be written as:


where us means thermal deformation difference, mm, T is temperature rise, K, l denotes the axial sizes of bearing inner/outer
rings, mm.
Bearing installation given in this paper is back to back
arrangement, so the difference of thermal deformation is contrary
to the initial displacement. Hence the total axial displacement is,

ua u0  us


Figure out balls' diameter Db1 and total curvature B1 after thermal extension, substituting them into the thermal displacement
equation, and the real contact angle a0 can be obtained:

B D sina0  a0
ua 1 b1
cos a0


Then the nal preload in condition of thermal deformation can

be written as follow:

cos a
sin a0
cos a0
ZDb1 K

2plb l




us bi $DTi $li  bo $DTo $lo


The heat resistance of the ve-node model:

sin an

3 cos2 a2n cos a02

Bf sina  a0
cos a

lnd1 =d
2plb l





3. Thermal network model for transient analysis

lnd1 =d
2plb l

Rbo Ro


2plb l

Rib Ri


For the seven-node model, heat resistance Rs-i, Ro-h are the same
with the above model, and other resistance can be expressed as:

Rig Ri

Rgo Ro


Heat resistance between balls and grease was also considered in

the seven-node model:


lnd2 =d1
2plg l


3.2. Model for transient thermal analysis

The principle of thermal network method assimilates heat
transfer to current ow, using network topology for thermal analysis. First, plots the object into gridding and supposes heat sources
concentrating on certain nodes. By connecting adjacent nodes with
heat resistance, an equivalent network model for thermal analysis
forms. When thermal parameters such as heat sources, resistance
and boundary conditions of certain object are decided, thermal
balance equations of the system can be established according to the
Kirchhoff's law of electricity.
3.2.1. Thermal resistance
Based on heat transfer principle of one-dimensional steady heat
transfer process, thermal resistance for heat conduction and
transfer can be written as:

Rc d=lA

Rv 1=hA


where d and A are characteristic length (mm) and area (mm2), l

means heat conductivity, W(mm K)1, h denotes heat transfer coefcient, W$(mm2 K)1.
Generally, system subassemblies such as hollow shaft, bearing
rings and spacers, are all equivalent to hollow cylinder. Hence heat
resistance can be derived according to the above equations. The axial
and radial resistance for heat conduction of a hollow cylinder gives:

3.1. Improvement of bearing nodes distribution

In traditional steady analysis, always three nodes for bearing:
inner ring, outer ring and the ball, seen in Fig. 3(a). Thermal
resistance of grease is ignored. In some models, grease resistance is
added into the total resistance. While in real transient work condition, grease property and its heat resistance, the temperature



lp D2  d2




where L means the length of cylinder, mm, D and d denotes the

external and internal diameter, mm, respectively.
Similarly, the axial and radial resistance for heat transfer writes:

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

Fig. 3. The improvement of bearing nodes distribution.



hp D2  d2




As mentioned above, grease heat resistance directly affects

bearing thermal characteristic. According to Jiang's work [22],
grease resistance near inner and outer rings can be calculated as





d1 l  ZD2b 4


2plg d2 l  ZD2b 4



For heat transfer of a two-dimensional node in spindle system,

suppose the frictional heat Qf of node O ows out to the adjacent
nodes, seen in Fig. 4. Then the general thermal balance equation for
steady case can be written as:

To  T1 To  T2 To  T3 To  T4



where To is node temperature value need to be solved, K, Ti is the

adjacent nodes temperature, K, Ro-i is thermal resistance between
adjacent nodes, K W1, and Qf is the frictional heat of the node, W.
For certain nodes of the system, such as nodes of contact area between balls and rings, the frictional heat source Qf can be calculated
by bearing quasi-dynamic analysis.
By developing the above expression, yields,

where d1 (d2) denotes the external (internal) diameter of bearing

inner (outer) ring, mm.

Ti Qf
i1 oi
i1 oi

3.2.2. Steady model

As just mentioned, heat transfer is assimilated to current ow,
the relationship between heat and temperature difference can be
derived based on Ohm's law.

According to the principle of thermal network method, nodes

distribution for a given spindle-bearing system was shown in Fig. 5.
Here the ve-node model for bearing was chose to illustrate thermal nodes distribution, and the number of nodes is 46 (For the
three-node model and seven-node model is 38 and 54,
Based on Eq. (43), thermal balance equations of the whole heat
transfer system can be written in matrix form:



GfTg fQ g



where [G] is matrix of heat conduction, {T} is temperature matrix

need to be solved, {Q} is the matrix of heat source. For the given
spindle-bearing system, the frictional heats {Q} are all from bearing
nodes, which can be obtained by quasi-dynamic analysis. Heat
sources of the other nodes are zero.

Fig. 4. Heat transfer mechanism of a thermal node and its adjacent nodes.

3.2.3. Transient model

For steady analysis, all the thermal parameters are supposed to
be constant, and heat transfers immediately from the source nodes
to the other nodes in the system. In real operating condition,
temperature of one node increases gradually from the environment
temperature to its balance value. During this period, the system
heat sources, heat transfer coefcient and thermal resistance are all
variable. The thermal-deformation coupling, temperature-viscosity
effect of the lubricant, heat transfer boundary conditions between
spindle system and the vicinal air ow, and the change of thermal
capacity and resistance are all need to be considered. Based on the
above steady model, a transient model was developed via
discretization-iteration method.

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

Fig. 5. Nodes distribution in spindle system with ve-node bearing model.

Before thermal balance status, the net thermal ow of a node at

any moment equals to its internal energy variation. Therefore, the
heat of the ith node and its temperature increment obey to the
following relationship:

qi Ci ri Vi i


In which dTi/dt means the temperature rise rate at the ith node.
According to the energy conversation principle, transient thermal balance equation of a node in two-dimensional system can be

To  T1 To  T2 To  T3 To  T4

Qfo  Co ro Vo


In order to achieve the transient temperature eld, the continuous value t was discretized by time series of certain step size Dt:

tk1 tk Dtk


Then the temperature at tk1 moment can be deduced by the

fore temperature eld at tk moment,

Tik1 Tik



Substituting Eq. (48) into Eq. (46), one obtains the arithmetic
solution of the transient thermal balance equation for one node:

Tok1  T1k1 Tok1  T2k1 Tok1  T3k1 Tok1  T4k1

Qfo  Co ro Vo

Tok1  Tok


Developing the above equation to the entire spindle system in

Fig. 5, one obtains the transient analysis model. During the transient calculation with different models, the number of the system
nodes changes accordingly. The computation of the transient model
can be seen in Fig. 6.
Taking the environment temperature as the initial value for all
nodes in the system, heat source, heat transfer coefcient, thermal
capacity and resistance of the system in initial work condition were
calculated. Then the transient equations were solved and thus the
temperature distribution was obtained. Based on the temperature
distribution, balls' temperature was used to estimate computation
convergence at the end of each iteration. If not, then the lubricant
temperature and boundary nodes parameters were used to modify
the thermal sources and boundary conditions. Meanwhile, thermal
deformation was calculated to modify bearing structural sizes and
preload, then the renewed data was employed as initial condition
for the next iteration. Finally, when balls' temperature difference of
the last two iterations is smaller than the given precision value, the
computation stopped.

4. Experiment
4.1. The experimental rig
The experiment was conducted in the United Laboratory of NSK
and Xi'an Jiaotong University. The machine tool spindle system,
WZ15B90-30SE mechanical spindle, was shown in Fig. 7. The
schematic view of the spindle can be seen in Fig. 5. The rotation
range is from 2000 to 8000 r/min. The NSK 7014CTYNSULP4
bearing was used, two front and two rear with back to back
arrangement. The lubricant is grease NSK MTE. The xed-position
pre-tightening was chose with an initial preload 1400 N. Before
installation, the relationship between spacer's position/size/length
and bearing's contact angle/preload was deduced. During the pretightening process, the position of the spacers was adjusted to
obtain proper bearing preload.
During the testing, the thermal balance criterion is: temperature
variation in one minute is less than 0.2  C. The temperature of
bearing outer ring was captured by a thermocouple sensor MISUMI
every two seconds, the resolution is 0.1  C. The thermocouple
sensor was contact with bearing outer ring through an axial
clearance hole of the front end cover. The MISUMI thermocouple
sensor is a closed circuit composed of two different conductor
materials. When temperature gradient exists, current and electromotive force inside the circuit occur, which reect temperature
value via certain relationship. The displacement of housing was
monitored by capacitive sensor C8-2.0, which standard measuring
range is 250 mm. Three displacement sensors were used (two for
radial and the other for axial displacement) and the monitoring
data was output by Lion data acquisition system.
For thermal analysis, heat transfer coefcient is crucial in the
calculation. The empirical equation for heat transfer coefcient is
proved to be much deviated from the real value, hence the natural
heat transfer coefcient of the spindle surface was measured by
temperature-gradient heat ux sensor. Then the testing data was
used instead of the empirical equation during the above calculation. The Capter ultrathin sensor HS-9010 was chose because the
spindle surface is curved. The monitoring data was output by
MX100 data acquisition system. The sensor resolution is
8.2 mV (W m2)1, its responding time and operating temperature
are respectively 0.3 s and 180 to 200  C.
4.2. Testing procedure
After the arrangement process and run-in period, the radial play
eccentricity of the shaft was adjusted rst. Then the spindle was set
a given rotation speed and started. The natural heat transfer coefcient and housing temperature were all monitored until thermal
equilibrium (The criterion is: temperature variation in the same
place is less than 0.2  C in a minute). When the testing in a given
speed is completed, the spindle system was shut down to the room
temperature, and then the next step was carried out. During the
measurement, outer ring temperature, natural heat transfer

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

Fig. 6. The computation process of transient thermal analysis.

Fig. 7. The testing NSK spindle-bearing system.

coefcient, system deformation and temperature rise process were

all captured.
5. Discussion
5.1. Bearing network model verication
Firstly, in order to verify the new network model in Fig. 3, the
outer ring temperature of the experimental spindle was tested and
then compared with the calculation results. From Fig. 8, the deviations of the rst two models and the experimental result are

about 10% at 2000 r/min (9.6% and 13.4%, respectively). When the
rotation speed rise, the deviations increase up to 30% (30% and 38%
at 6000 r/min, 25.7% and 33.4% at 8000 r/min). That's because,
during the calculation, heat dissipation by lubrication and air ow
inside bearing cavity was ignored, which plays an important role in
bearing heat transfer, especially at relatively higher speed. The
result by ve-node model is even larger than the traditional threenode model, due to the enhancement of heat transfer but ignorance
of heat dissipation. In the seven-node model, the grease characteristic was considered, and the result is more close to the real one,
the tolerance is less than 12% (11.6% and 12% for rotation speed

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

biggest tolerance is 18.8%. The reason is, the radial displacement by

experimental testing include not only the deformations by stresses
effect mentioned above, but also spindle radial run-out and vibrations. The latter was not considered during the theoretical
5.3. Comparison of the two models

Fig. 8. Comparison the results of three network models to experimental data.

6000 and 8000r/min, respectively). The empirical heat coefcient

was employed during the inside heat dissipation analysis, which is
known as insufcient for complicated heat transfer calculation inside bearing cavity. However, the new seven-node model reduces
the temperature difference by about 25% (14  C), so it was chose in
the following calculation.
5.2. Radial deformation and stiffness
The radial deformation is crucial to bearing frictional heat
generation, and it was calculated both by the traditional steady
model and the new transient model in this paper. From Fig. 9 it can
be derived that, the radial deformation by transient model is much
smaller than by the steady way. Among all the deformations by
thermal effect, centrifugal effect and assembling stress, thermal
deformation is the major part (seen in the following discussion).
The temperature by steady method is much larger than the transient analysis, hence the thermal deformation and total radial
deformation by the steady analysis is much larger than by transient
The radial displacement of the given spindle at different rotation
speed was listed is Table 1. Compared to the experimental data, the
calculated radial deformation is smaller but approximate. The

Based on the seven-node bearing model, the thermal characteristics by steady and transient approaches were compared to the
experimental data, seen in Fig. 10. During the transient calculation,
three different procedures were carried out in order to understand
the inuence of different factors: 1) iteration calculation, during
this process only the iteration method was considered. That is, the
thermal deformation and viscosity effect were all ignored; 2)
temperature viscosity feature was added into the iteration calculation; 3) complete transient analysis process, thermal deformation
and viscosity were all discussed during the transient iteration
computation. From Fig. 9, temperature by steady model is much
higher than experiment data. For transient model, the inuence of
iteration and viscosity are most obvious because their large deviation to the steady results. So it can be derived that, the tolerance by
steady method is mostly due to its constant parameter in heat
transfer calculation. Based on different procedure of transient
analysis, the inuence of thermal parameter on temperature is
small at low rotation speed. In the other hand, when the rotation
speed increasing, the temperatureeviscosity effect and thermal
deformation increase, hence their inuence on spindle temperature increases.
5.4. Stress effect on deformation
In order to understand the effects of thermal stress, assembling
stress and centrifugal stress on spindle radial deformation, the inner ring deformation was calculated in different rotation speed and
arrangement magnitude. The radial deformation of inner ring under individual effect of the three stresses was shown in Figs. 11 and
From Fig. 11, deformation induced by assembling process remains the same at different rotation speed, that's because the
deformation occurs only in the spindle arrangement process.
Conversely, Thermal and centrifugal effects increase greatly at high
rotation value, because the spindle temperature and centrifugal
force grow as well. Thermal and centrifugal deformation here
means structural deformation induced thermal extension and
centrifugal force, respectively. For different arrangement magnitude in Fig. 12 at rotation speed 6000 r/min, the centrifugal force
remains unchanged due to its inherent feature with subassemblies
motions. Therefore the centrifugal deformation keeps constant at
certain rotation speed. In the design stage of spindle-bearing system, a smaller interference t magnitude is benet to its deformation. However, due to the thermal and centrifugal effects, the
interference t magnitude between shaft and inner ring decreases,
so a small magnitude may lead to loosening problem. Hence the
choice of spindle-bearing interference magnitude is important.
Among the three effects, thermal stress contributes the most to
the total deformation. Therefore, thermal extension is the major
factor for spindle deformation. For centrifugal effect and assembling deformation, the effects depend on spindle rotation speed
and arrangement conditions.
5.5. Balance time

Fig. 9. Radial deformation of the spindle system.

For a given condition with initial preload Fa 290 N, axial load

Ka 500 N, radial load Fr 0 and environment temperature


K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

Table 1
Comparison of radial deformation of bearing housing.
Rotation speed (r/min)


Environment temperature ( C)


Experimental data (mm)


Calculated data (mm)

Tolerance (%)









Fig. 10. Comparison of steady and transient approaches to experimental data.

Fig. 12. Relationship of arrangement magnitude and deformation.

Ta 21  C. According to the analysis process in Fig. 6, the transient

thermal feature of the given spindle can be solved via Matlab
software. The transient temperature rise curve at different rotation
speed was shown in Fig. 13.
At a given speed, temperature increases while its rate decreases
gradually as time goes by, until the spindle reaches a thermal balance status. The balance time for different rotation speed can be
seen in Table 2. That is, for a relatively higher rotation case, the
period between initial status and the nal balance is shorter.
Comparing the balance time and temperature at same rotation
speed, 2000 r/min for instance, the balance time and temperature
change in different environment conditions. It can be derived that,
for a higher environment temperature, the balance time is shorter.

The nal balance temperature of the spindle is larger while the

difference for beginning and end is smaller. This illustrates that, the
spindle thermal balance is steady and independent of the environment temperature.

Fig. 11. Relationship of spindle rotation and deformation.

Fig. 13. Spindle temperature rise curve at different rotation speed.

5.6. Temperature rise curves

In order to verify the transient network model, the outer ring
temperature rise curves at different rotation speed were compared
to the real monitoring curves. During the calculation, the

K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12


Table 2
Balance time and bearing outer ring temperature at different rotation speed.
Rotation speed (r/min)

Environment temperature ( C)

Balance temperature ( C)

Temperature rising ( C)

Balance time (min)






environment temperature, rotation speed, bearing arrangement

and preload were all set the same with experimental condition. In
addition, the natural heat transfer coefcient of housing by testing
was employed in the calculation. The comparisons were shown in
Fig. 14.
According to these curves, the processes of temperature rise by
calculation basically agree well with experimental data, although
the theoretical balance temperature is a little lower. Deviation exists at the initial stage and also the decreasing stage. The reason is,
theoretical prediction was affected by the iteration step size, which
was limited due to the computation capacity. Strictly, thermal
parameter varies in time in real working condition. However, the

thermal parameter remains unchanged in one-iteration during the

calculation. Besides, the thermophysical of spindle material, the
machining accuracy of the subassemblies and the thermal radiation
were all ignored during the calculation.
Temperature rise curve in continuous rotating was shown in
Fig. 15. It can be derived that, the transient thermal curve by
calculation in this paper ts well with the monitored curve. At
relatively higher rotation speed, the tolerance is obvious, 10%e15%
lower at 8000 r/min for instance. Because heat generation model
for bearing used in this paper is the general heat approach, which is
suitable to low working condition. Due to the computation efciency, the local approach for bearing heat generation is not
employed in the above calculation.

6. Conclusion
In this paper, the network approach was developed for spindle
transient analysis in consideration of thermal-structure interaction.
The improved models for bearing and system were studied and the
tested natural heat transfer parameter was employed in the
calculation. Based on experimental verication, the transient
model was proved to be more superior to the steady approach. The
conclusions of the article are as follow:
1) A transient thermal network model was developed for complex
structure analysis, such as spindle-bearing system. The thermalstructure coupling (time-varying parameters like deformation,
viscosity, etc.) was considered in transient analysis.
2) Compared to the steady model, the inuence of iteration and
viscosity in transient analysis are dominating. Hence the tolerance by steady method is mostly due to its constant parameters
in heat transfer calculation.

Fig. 14. Comparison of temperature rising curves at different rotation speed.

Fig. 15. Temperature rise process for continuous operation.


K. Yan et al. / International Journal of Thermal Sciences 104 (2016) 1e12

3) The installation effect, thermal deformation and centrifugal

force on spindle performance were all discussed, and the thermal effect is proved to be primary.
4) The presented seven-node model and transient analysis method
indicate that, local heat transfer among subassemblies for
bearing and time-varying thermal parameters for spindle system analysis is of importance and necessary.
The authors would like express their gratitude to the United
Laboratory of NSK and Xi'an Jiaotong University. The research work
is nancially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation
of China (Grant No. 51405375) and the Key Laboratory of Road
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