On the asperity point load mechanism for rolling contact fatigue

by Dahlberg, Johan

Abstract (Summary)
Rolling contact fatigue is a damage process that may arise in mechanical applications with repeated rolling contacts. Some examples are: gears; cams; bearings; rail/wheel contacts. The resulting damage is often visible with the naked eye as millimeter sized surface craters. The surface craters are here denoted spalls and the gear contact served as a case study.The work focused on the asperity point load mechanism for initiation of spalls. It was found that the stresses at asperity level may be large enough to initiate surface cracking, especially if the complete stress cycle was accounted for.The gear contact is often treated as a cylindrical contact. The thesis contains experimental and numerical results connected to rolling contact fatigue of cylindrical contacts. At the outset a stationary cylindrical contact was studied experimentally. The stationary test procedure was used instead of a rolling contact. In this way the number of contact parameters was minimized. The cylindrical contact resulted in four different contact fatigue cracks. The two cracks that appeared first initiated below the contact. The other two cracks developed at the contact surface when the number of load cycles and the contact load increased.The influence of a surface irregularity (asperity) was studied numerically with the Finite Element Method (FEM). Firstly, the stationary contact was modelled and investigated numerically. At the cylindrical contact boundary a single axisymmetric was included. The partially loaded asperity introduced a tensile surface stress, which seen from the asperity centre was radially directed. Secondly, FE simulations were performed where a single axisymmetric asperity was over-rolled by a cylindrical contact. The simulations were performed for pure rolling and rolling with slip. For both situations, tensile forward directed stresses in front of the asperity were found. The presence of slip and a surface traction greatly increased the stresses in front of the asperity. Finally, when rolling started from rest with applied slip, the distance to steady-state rolling was determined for elastic similar cylindrical rollers.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Rolling contact fatigue; Spalling; Asperity contact; Point load; Micro-cracks; Traction; Applied slip


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.