Research Papers: Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication

CFD Modeling of a Thermal and Shear-Thinning Elastohydrodynamic Line Contact

[+] Author and Article Information
Markus Hartinger, David Gosman, Hugh Spikes

 Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW72BX, UK

Marie-Laure Dumont, Stathis Ioannides

 SKF Engineering and Research Centre, Niewegein, The Netherlands

J. Tribol 130(4), 041503 (Aug 05, 2008) (16 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2958077 History: Received November 02, 2007; Revised April 30, 2008; Published August 05, 2008

In this paper a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach for solving elastohydrodynamic lubrication using the freely available package OPENFOAM is introduced. The full Navier–Stokes equations are solved, which enables the entire flow domain to be modeled and all gradients inside the lubricated contact to be resolved. The phenomenon of cavitation is taken into account by employing a homogenous equilibrium cavitation model, which maintains a specified cavitation pressure inside the cavitating region. The energy equation used considers the effects of heat conduction and convection, viscous heating, and the heat of evaporation. The developed method has been applied to a series of cases of lubricated metal-on-metal line contact with an entrainment velocity of uent=2.5ms, viscosities η0=[0.01,1]Pas, and slide-to-roll ratios SRR=[0,1,2] under both thermal and isothermal conditions. The isothermal results are compared to the Reynolds theory and most results agree very well. Only the high-viscosity pure rolling case shows small differences. The combined effects of temperature, pressure, and shear-thinning are studied for the thermal cases. A temperature-induced shear band occurs in the case of sliding combined with very large viscosity compared to the isothermal case, which results in significant pressure variations across the thickness of the film. The impact of temperature on the friction force is discussed, showing differences of up to 88.5% compared to the isothermal case. The developed method is capable of giving new insights into the physics of elastohydrodynamic lubrication, especially in cases where the usual assumptions of the Reynolds theory break down.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Deforming mesh—detail

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Figure 3

Computational domain

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Figure 4

Isothermal—pressure and film thickness. (Note that that the x-axis is larger in D, E, and F than in A, B, and C and that the pressure scale in D differs from E and F.)

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Figure 5

Isothermal—dynamic viscosity, shear-rate, and velocity

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Figure 6

Thermal—pressure and film thickness. (Note that the x-axis and pressure scales differ in D, E, and F from A, B, and C.)

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Figure 7

Thermal—temperature, dynamic viscosity, shear-rate, and velocity

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Figure 8

Thermal—temperature, dynamic viscosity, shear-rate, and velocity

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Figure 9

Wall shear-stresses at the rigid wall

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Figure 10

Cavitation zone Case C

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Figure 11

Cavitation zone Case D

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Figure 12

Viscous stresses—isothermal Case D and thermal Case F



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