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Experimental Investigation of Forces Produced by Misaligned Steel RollersThe International Space Station Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ) uses a roller-based mechanism for positioning of the solar arrays. The forces and moments that develop at the roller interfaces are influenced by the design including the kinematic constraints and the lubrication condition. To help understand the SARJ operation, a set of dedicated experiments were completed using roller pairs. Of primary interest was to measure the axial force directed along the axis of rotation of the roller as a function of shaft misalignment. The conditions studied included dry and clean surfaces; one surface plated by a gold film, and greased surfaces. For the case of a bare 440C roller against a nitrided 15-5 roller without lubrication, the axial force can be as great as 0.4 times the normal load for a shaft angle of 0.5 degree. Such a magnitude of force on a roller in the SARJ mechanism would cause roller tipping and contact pressures much greater than anticipated by the designers. For the case of a bare 440C roller against a nitrided 15-5 roller with grease lubrication, the axial force does not exceed about 0.15 times the normal load even for the largest misalignment angles tested. Gold films provided good lubrication for the short duration testing reported herein. Grease lubrication limited the magnitude of the axial force to even smaller magnitudes than was achieved with the gold films. The experiments demonstrate the critical role of good lubrication for the SARJ mechanism.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Krantz, Timothy (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
DellaCorte, Christopher (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Dube, Michael (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 29, 2013
Publication Date
May 12, 2010
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 40th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20100021914Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the 40th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium