In planetary-gear transmissions, especially for aircraft applications, the planet gears are frequently made integral with the outer rings of rolling bearings. Thus the outer ring of the rolling bearing is subjected to the tangential, radial, and moment loading attendant to spur gears. If the outer ring of the bearing is relatively thin, the distortion induced therein by the gear forces alters the distribution of load from that of a roller bearing with a rigid outer ring, causing a significant reduction in the bearing fatigue life. Since the maximum rolling-element loads in the bearing occur in close angular proximity of the points of load application, it would appear that the magnitude of these rolling-element loads may be diminished and fatigue life subsequently increased by selectively applying clearance between rolling elements and raceway at the points of load application. In fact, theoretical analysis of a planetary-gear bearing having an out-of-round inner ring, wherein the major axis is oriented parallel to the tangential gear-tooth load, indicates that a condition of optimum clearance and out-of-round exists with respect to bearing fatigue life. An increase in fatigue life of approximately 40 percent is indicated with only a nominal amount of out-of-round.

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