Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Constantine M. Tarawneh

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas H. Timmer

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert E. Jones


Railroad bearing performance is often constrained by the life of its lubricant. The lubricant life is determined by tribomechanical processes that are present during bearing operation. No known physical models exist to predict the railroad bearing lubricant life. This thesis summarizes the efforts undertaken in the development of empirical models that can accurately predict the residual useful life of railroad bearing grease. Modeling techniques to be employed include regression, regression trees, and split plots. The grease samples used to populate this model come from healthy and faulty bearings that were run under different loads, speeds, and ambient conditions in a laboratory setting. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) values were used as indicators of the residual life of the grease after it has been in operation. This study was successful in developing empirical models which can be utilized to predict the residual life of railroad bearing grease for given operational parameters.


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