The properties of the time domain parameters of vibration signals have been extensively studied for the fault diagnosis of rolling element bearings (REBs). Parameters like kurtosis and Envelope Harmonic-to-Noise Ratio are the most widely applied in this field and some important progress has been made. However, since only one-sided information is contained in these parameters, problems still exist in practice when the signals collected are of complicated structure and/or contaminated by strong background noises. A new parameter, named Shock Pulse Index (SPI), is proposed in this paper. It integrates the mutual advantages of both the parameters mentioned above and can help effectively identify fault-related impulse components under conditions of interference of strong background noises, unrelated harmonic components and random impulses. The SPI optimizes the parameters of Maximum Correlated Kurtosis Deconvolution (MCKD), which is used to filter the signals under consideration. Finally, the transient information of interest contained in the filtered signal can be highlighted through demodulation with the Teager Energy Operator (TEO). Fault-related impulse components can therefore be extracted accurately. Simulations show the SPI can correctly indicate the fault impulses under the influence of strong background noises, other harmonic components and aperiodic impulse and experiment analyses verify the effectiveness and correctness of the proposed method.
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