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Contact Mechanics

Modeling of a Thermal-Electrical-Mechanical Coupled Field Contact

[+] Author and Article Information
R. P. Hennessy

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering,  Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115

N. E. McGruer

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,  Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115

G. G. Adams

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering,  Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115adams@coe.neu.edu

J. Tribol 134(4), 041402 (Sep 04, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007270 History: Received October 10, 2011; Revised July 10, 2012; Published September 04, 2012; Online September 04, 2012

This paper presents a finite element approach for modeling a thermal-electrical-mechanical coupled-field contact comprised of an elastic hemisphere pressed against an elastic half-space. The goal of this investigation is to develop a fundamental understanding of the behavior of this multiphysics contact, with a particular interest on the contact area through which current flows. The results from the model illustrate a distinct difference in contact behavior between force control and displacement control in the presence of an applied electrical potential/current. It is shown that, while Hertz contact theory can be used to accurately predict the behavior of the contact under force control, a new relationship is established to accurately predict the behavior of the contact under displacement control.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

An elastic hemisphere contacting an elastic half space

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Figure 2

(a) Axisymmetric FEM mesh with ANSYS 11® . (b) A zoomed-in view of the mesh in the contact region.

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Figure 3

Dimensionless maximum contact temperature change (T*) versus dimensionless applied electrical potential (V*). The theoretical curve represents the relationship presented in Eq. 6.

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Figure 4

Dimensionless contact radius (a*) versus dimensionless contact force (P*)

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Figure 5

Dimensionless contact radius (a*) versus dimensionless interference (δ*). The data points represent FEM results, while trend lines are generated by curve-fitting. Results for V* = 0.044 were omitted to reduce clutter, because they are relatively close to V* = 0.000.

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Figure 6

Dimensionless contact resistance (Ω*) versus dimensionless interference (δ*). The data points represent FEM results, while trend lines are generated by curve-fitting. Results for V* = 0.044 were omitted to reduce clutter, because they are relatively close to V* = 0.000.

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Figure 7

Dimensionless contact force (P*) versus dimensionless interference (δ*) for varying dimensionless potentials (V*). The data points represent FEM results, while trend lines are generated by curve-fitting. Results for V* = 0.044 were omitted to reduce clutter, because they are relatively close to V* = 0.000.

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Figure 8

Dimensionless contact force (P*) versus dimensionless interference (δ*) for varying dimensionless currents (I*). The data points represent FEM results, while trend lines are generated by curve-fitting.

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