A model for wear based on energy is developed. The model accounts for the volume of wear material produced during sliding and includes the possibility of debris reattachment to the contact surfaces. Fourier analysis of contact surface geometries allow the model to be transformed from space-variable form to spectral form, which is more convenient for many applications such as implementation in analysis software. As special cases, Archard’s wear law is obtained and an exponential wear model, which currently sees wide use for treatment of sliding wear in dilatant contact problems, is deduced.

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