Research Papers: Contact Mechanics

Transient Thermomechanical Analysis of Sliding Electrical Contacts of Elastoplastic Bodies, Thermal Softening, and Melting Inception

[+] Author and Article Information
W. Wayne Chen, Q. Jane Wang

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

Wansik Kim

Memory Division, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics Co. LTD., San#16 Banwol-Dong, Hwansung-City, Gyeonggi-Do 445-701, South Korea

J. Tribol 131(2), 021406 (Mar 06, 2009) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3084214 History: Received May 06, 2008; Revised December 30, 2008; Published March 06, 2009

Sliding electrical contacts are found in many electromechanical devices, such as relays, switches, and resistance spot welding. Temperature rise due to sliding friction and electrical current may be the major source of sliding electrical contact deterioration. This paper reports the development of a three-dimensional thermo-elasto-plastic contact model of counterformal bodies, which takes into account transient heat flux, temperature-dependent strain hardening behavior, and a realistic heat partition between surfaces. Transient contact simulations induce a significant increase in computational burden. The discrete convolution and fast Fourier transform and the conjugate gradient method are utilized to improve the computation efficiency. The present model is used to study the case of a half-space sliding over a stationary sphere, and both are made of 7075 aluminum alloy; the contact resistance is considered mainly due to the surface oxide film. The simulation results indicate that the transient contact model is able to capture the history of plastic deformation accumulation and the material melting inception.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Conceptual figure of the sliding electrical contact under frictional and Joule heating

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Figure 2

Tunneling resistivity for TiO2 film on Ti as a function of film thickness (13)

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Figure 3

Simulation results using different tunneling resistivities (J=40 A/mm2), (a) pressure along the axis of symmetry, and (b) temperature along the axis of symmetry

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Figure 4

Comparison of simulation results obtained from different loading schemes (J=40 A/mm2)

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Figure 5

Evolutions of temperature profiles along the axis of symmetry (J=40 A/mm2)

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Figure 6

Evolution of the equivalent von Mises stress along the depth (J=40 A/mm2)

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Figure 7

Evolution of surface pressure along the axis of symmetry (J=40 A/mm2)

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Figure 8

Evolution of the effective plastic strain along the depth (J=40 A/mm2)

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Figure 9

Transient maximum pressure, maximum effective plastic strain, and the real contact area as functions of time (J=40 A/mm2)

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Figure 10

Results for the thermo-elastic contact (J=40 A/mm2), (a) maximum pressure and the real contact area as functions of time, and (b) evolution of the normal displacement along the axis of symmetry due to thermal expansion

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Figure 11

Melting inception time identification using the transient model (J=75 A/mm2)

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Figure 12

Melting inception time variation with (a) the increase in electrical current density, (b) the increase in normal load, and (c) the increase in friction coefficient



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