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Adhesive wear and particle emission: Numerical approach based on asperity-free formulation of Rabinowicz criterion

Abstract

In 1953 Archard formulated his general law of wear stating that the amount of worn material is proportional to the normal force and the sliding distance, and is inversely proportional to the hardness of the material. Five years later in 1958, Rabinowicz suggested a criterion determining the minimum size of wear particles. Both concepts became very popular due to their simplicity and robustness, but did not give thorough explanation of the mechanisms involved. It wasn’t until almost 60 years later in 2016 that Aghababaei, Warner and Molinari (AWM) used quasi-molecular simulations to confirm the Rabinowicz criterion. One of the central quantities remained the “asperity size”. Because real surfaces have roughness on many length scales, this size is often ill-defined. The present paper is devoted to two main points: First, we generalize the Rabinowicz-AWM criterion by introducing an “asperity-free” wear criterion, applicable even to fractal roughness. Second, we combine our generalized Rabinowicz criterion with the numerical contact mechanics of rough surfaces and formulate on this basis a deterministic wear model. We identify two types of wear: one leading to the formation of a modified topography which does not wear further and one showing continuously proceeding wear. In the latter case we observe regimes of least wear, mild wear and severe wear which have a clear microscopic interpretation. The worn volume in the region of mild wear occurs typically to be a power law of the normal force with an exponent not necessarily equal to one. The method provides the worn surface topography after an initial settling phase as well as the size distribution of wear particles. We analyse different laws of interface interaction and the corresponding wear laws. A comprehensive parameter study remains a task for future research.

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Acknowledgement

This work has been conducted under partial financial support from the German Ministry for Research and Education BMBF (No. 13NKE011A).

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Correspondence to Valentin L. Popov or Roman Pohrt.

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Valentin L. POPOV. He is full professor at the Berlin University of Technology. He studied physics and obtained his doctorate in 1985 from the Moscow State Lomonosov University. 1985–1998 he worked at the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences and was a guest professor in the field of theoretical physics at the University of Paderborn (Germany) from 1999 to 2002. Since 2002 he is the head of the Department of System Dynamics and the Physics of Friction at the Berlin University of Technology. He has published over 300 papers in leading international journals and is the author of the book “Contact Mechanics and Friction: Physical Principles and Applications” which appeared in three editions in German, English, Chinese, and Russian. He is the member of editorial boards of many international journals and is organizer of more than 20 international conferences and workshops over diverse tribological themes. Prof. Popov is honorary professor of the Tomsk Polytechnic University, of the East China University of Science and Technology, and of the Changchun University of Science and Technology and Distinguished Guest Professor of the Tsinghua University. His areas of interest include tribology, nanotribology, tribology at low temperatures, biotribology, the influence of friction through ultrasound, numerical simulation of contact and friction, research regarding earthquakes, as well as topics related to materials science such as the mechanics of elastoplastic media with microstructures, strength of metals and alloys, and shape memory alloys.

Roman POHRT. He is researcher at the Berlin University of Technology. He studied physical engineering science with special focus on simulation and optimization of discrete and continuous problems. Since he joined the group of Prof. V. Popov in 2010, he has been conducting experimental and numerical research on a variety of tribology related industry problems. In his PhD thesis R. Pohrt focussed on linking scales in the elastic contact of fractal rough surfaces, for which he was awarded by the German Tribological Society in 2013. R. Pohrt has authored a series of influential papers on different tribological problems, applying and extending state-of-the-art numerical methods. His areas of interest include contact mechanics, rail-wheel-interaction of trains, manufacturing technology, lubrication and more generally the influence of surface topography on tribological phenomena.

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Popov, V.L., Pohrt, R. Adhesive wear and particle emission: Numerical approach based on asperity-free formulation of Rabinowicz criterion. Friction 6, 260–273 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40544-018-0236-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40544-018-0236-4

Keywords

  • adhesion
  • plasticity
  • wear
  • Archard’s law of wear
  • Rabinowicz criterion
  • wear particle emission
  • surface topography
  • boundary element method (BEM)