The effect of roughness is an important consideration in the lubrication analysis and surface geometric design of heavy-duty machine elements. Deterministic simulation techniques have been developed for the investigation of point-contact mixed-lubrication problems. Such approaches should also be extended to obtain deterministic mixed lubrication solutions for journal-bearing conformal-contact systems. However, journal-bearing mixed lubrication involves a much larger area of surface interaction as compared to that in point contact problems. It is difficult to use similar micro/nano scale meshes directly to journal bearings under the current computation capability. It is a great challenge to develop a new deterministic numerical model for the mixed lubrication of journal bearing systems with the consideration of the effect of surface geometry design. This paper presents a macro-micro scale finite-element local-enrichment model for the deterministic analysis of conformal-contact mixed lubrication, in which a coarse mesh is used to determine the elastic deformation of a journal bearing surface, whilst locally refined meshes are used for the analysis of the roughness effect. The results from investigating the performance of bearing surfaces with sinusoidal and dimple textures suggest that the minimum film thickness may be improved through an appropriate surface texture configuration.

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