Elastic and Elastoplastic Contact Mechanics of Concentrated Coated Contacts

Johns-Rahnejat, Patricia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2490-8753, Dolatabadi, Nader and Rahnejat, Homer orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2257-7102 (2024) Elastic and Elastoplastic Contact Mechanics of Concentrated Coated Contacts. Lubricants, 12 (5).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/lubricants12050162


Machines operate under increasingly harsher contact conditions, causing significant wear and contact fatigue. Sub-surface stresses are responsible for the premature contact fatigue of rolling element bearings, meshing gears, and cam–follower pairs. Surface protection measures include hard, wear-resistant coatings. Traditionally, contact integrity has been predicted using classical Hertzian contact mechanics. However, the theory is only applicable when the contact between a pair of ellipsoidal solids of revolution may be considered as a rigid indenter penetrating a semi-infinite elastic half-space. Many coatings act as thin bonded elastic layers that undergo considerably higher pressures than those predicted by the classical theory. Furthermore, inelastic deformation of bonded solids can cause plastic flow, work-hardening, and elastoplastic behaviour. This paper presents a comprehensive, integrated contact mechanics analysis that includes induced sub-surface stresses in concentrated counterformal finite line contacts for all the aforementioned cases. Generated pressures and deformation are predicted for hard coated surfaces, for which there is a dearth of relevant analysis. The contact characteristics, which are of particular practical significance, of many hard, wear-resistant advanced coatings are also studied. The paper clearly demonstrates the importance of using efficient semi-analytical, detailed holistic contact mechanics rather than the classical idealised methods or empirical numerical ones such as FEA. The novel approach presented for the finite line contact of thin-layered bonded solids has not hitherto been reported in the open literature.

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