The Finite Element Method (FEM) is widely used for modeling strain distribution during friction contact. One of the necessary conditions for such modeling is the correspondence between structural changes in a material surface layers and Finite Element Analysis results. The present study is dedicated to the possibility of using FEM as a tool to predict structural changes of material surface layers during friction depending on material properties and friction conditions. Contact during friction with reciprocating and unidirectional sliding between two surfaces under condition of plane strain had been modeled using commercial Finite Element (FE) code. The correlation between FE results and structural results, obtaining by electron microscopy and X-ray, were studied for the primary and secondary running-in processes. An elastic-plastic model had been used to learn the influence of different contact parameters such as: pressure, hardening, friction coefficient and geometry of asperities on the FE modeling results. Correlation between the FEM predictions and structural results such as dislocation’s density and distribution, were studied in a qualitative manner revealing that plastic strain results can be used to predict structural changes of material under sliding friction.

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