Almost all mechanical structures consist of an assembly of components that are linked together with joints. If such a structure experiences vibration during operation, micro-sliding can occur in the joint, resulting in fretting wear. Fretting wear affects the mechanical properties of the joints over their lifetime and as a result impacts the non-linear dynamic response of the system. For accurate prediction of the non-linear dynamic response over the lifetime of the structure, fretting wear should be considered in the analysis.
Fretting wear studies require an accurate assessment of the stresses and strains in the contacting surfaces of the joints. To provide this information, a contact solver based on the semi-analytical method has been implemented in this study. By solving the normal and tangential contact problems between two elastic semi-infinite bodies, the contact solver allows an accurate calculation of the pressure and shear distributions as well as the relative slips in the contact area. The computed results for a smooth spherical contact between similar elastic materials are presented and validated against analytical solutions. The results are also compared with those obtained from finite element simulations to demonstrate the accuracy and computational benefits of the semi-analytical method. Its capabilities are further illustrated in a new test case of a cylinder with rounded edges on a flat surface, which is a more realistic contact representation of an industrial joint.