An enhanced Kurtogram method for fault diagnosis of rolling element bearings

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-199
Journal / PublicationMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


The Kurtogram is based on the kurtosis of temporal signals that are filtered by the short-time Fourier transform (STFT), and has proved useful in the diagnosis of bearing faults. To extract transient impulsive signals more effectively, wavelet packet transform is regarded as an alternative method to STFT for signal decomposition. Although kurtosis based on temporal signals is effective under some conditions, its performance is low in the presence of a low signal-to-noise ratio and non-Gaussian noise. This paper proposes an enhanced Kurtogram, the major innovation of which is kurtosis values calculated based on the power spectrum of the envelope of the signals extracted from wavelet packet nodes at different depths. The power spectrum of the envelope of the signals defines the sparse representation of the signals and kurtosis measures the protrusion of the sparse representation. This enhanced Kurtogram helps to determine the location of resonant frequency bands for further demodulation with envelope analysis. The frequency signatures of the envelope signal can then be used to determine the type of fault that has affected a bearing by identifying its characteristic frequency. In many cases, discrete frequency noise always exists and may mask the weak bearing faults. It is usually preferable to remove such discrete frequency noise by using autoregressive filtering before the enhanced Kurtogram is performed. At last, we used a number of simulated bearing fault signals and three real bearing fault signals obtained from an experimental motor to validate the efficiency of these proposed modifications. The results show that both the proposed method and the enhanced Kurtogram are effective in the detection of various bearing faults. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Fault diagnosis, Kurtogram, Low signal-to-noise ratio, Rolling element bearing, Wavelet packet transform