Engine journal bearings are now routinely analysed using elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) methods [1,2]. This analysis technique takes into account interaction of the hydrodynamic film with the elastic distortion produced in both the bearing and the journal. It has proved a robust analytic tool for designers in predicting the value and location of such parameters as minimum oil film thickness and maximum film pressure. However, for some very heavily loaded cases, the normal EHL analysis technique may fail to produce realistic solutions. Due to ‘cusping’ of the bearing surface under extreme pressures the edges of bearing may be predicted to penetrate the journal surface leading to a ‘negative’ film thickness. In reality, the surfaces will interact and a ‘running-in’ process will result in subtle changes to the bearing surface profile such that a hydrodynamic film can be maintained across the whole bearing surface. This study introduces a contact-wear model which attempts to model this situation.

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