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Experimental and numerical study of micropitting initiation in real rough surfaces in a micro-elastohydrodynamic lubrication regime

AL-Mayali, M. F., Hutt, S., Sharif, K. J., Clarke, A. ORCID: and Evans, H. P. ORCID: 2018. Experimental and numerical study of micropitting initiation in real rough surfaces in a micro-elastohydrodynamic lubrication regime. Tribology Letters 66 (4) , 150. 10.1007/s11249-018-1110-2

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Micropitting is a form of surface fatigue damage that happens at the surface roughness scale in lubricated contacts in commonly used machine elements, such as gears and bearings. It occurs where the specific film thickness (ratio of smooth surface film thickness to composite surface roughness) is sufficiently low for the contacts to operate in the mixed lubrication regime, where the load is in part carried by direct asperity contacts. Micropitting is currently seen as a greater issue for gear designers than is regular pitting fatigue failure as the latter can be avoided by control of steel cleanliness. This paper describes the results of both theoretical and experimental studies of the onset of micropitting in test disks operated in the mixed lubrication regime. A series of twin disk mixed-lubrication experiments were performed in order to examine the evolution of micropitting damage during repeated cyclic loading of surface roughness asperities as they pass through the contact. Representative measurements of the surfaces used in the experimental work were then evaluated using a numerical model which combines a transient line contact micro-elastohydrodynamic lubrication (micro-EHL) simulation with a calculation of elastic sub-surface stresses. This model generated time-history of stresses within a block of material as it passes through the contact, based on the instantaneous surface contact pressure and traction at each point in the computing mesh at each timestep. This stress time-history was then used within a shear-strain-based fatigue model to calculate the cumulative damage experienced by the surface due to the loading sequence experienced during the experiments. The proposed micro-EHL model results and the experimental study were shown to agree well in terms of predicting the number of loading cycles that are required for the initial micropitting to occur.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1023-8883
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 November 2018
Date of Acceptance: 26 October 2018
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 22:07

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