A Mixed Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication Model With Asperity Contact

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaofei Jiang, D. Y. Hua, H. S. Cheng

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

Xiaolan Ai

The Timken Company, Canton, OH 44706

Si C. Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

J. Tribol 121(3), 481-491 (Jul 01, 1999) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2834093 History: Received February 05, 1998; Revised July 07, 1998; Online January 24, 2008


Most machine elements, such as gears and bearings, are operated in the mixed lubrication region. To evaluate lubrication performance for these tribological components, a contact model in mixed elastohydrodynamic lubrication is presented. This model deals with the EHL problem in the very thin film region where the film is not thick enough to separate the asperity contact of rough surface. The macro contact area is then divided into the lubricated area and the micro asperity contact areas by the contacted rough surfaces. In the case when asperity to asperity contact is present, Reynolds equation is only valid in the lubricated areas. Asperity contact pressure is determined by the interaction of two mating surfaces. The applied load is carried out by the lubricant film and the contacted asperities. FFT techniques are utilized to calculate the surface displacement (forward problem) by convolution and the asperity contact pressure (inverse problem) by deconvolution for non-periodic surfaces. With the successful implementation of FFT and multigrid methods, the lubricated contact problem can be solved within hours on a PC for the grids as large as one million nodes. This capability enables us to simulate random rough surfaces in a dense mesh. The load ratio, contact area ratio and average gap are introduced to characterize the performance of mixed lubrication with asperity contacts. Discussions are given regarding the asperity orientation as well as the effect of rolling-sliding condition. Numerical results of real rough topography are illustrated with effects of velocity parameter on load ratio, contact ratio, and average gap.

Copyright © 1999 by Journal of Tribology
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