The worn surface profile of a composite structure was experimentally and numerically investigated focusing on the effects of sliding conditions. Wear tests on composites made of an oxide ceramic and an amorphous metal against a tetragonal zirconia polycrystals-alumina were carried out under various mean contact pressures, P, and sliding velocities, V. The test results showed that the worn surface profiles of the composites changed with the PV value. A new numerical method for simulating the worn surface profile of a composite structure has been developed. The present method is based upon the assumption that the profile of a worn surface is changed by thermal distortion of the sliding bodies due to frictional heating and by elastic deformation due to normal pressure and friction traction. The calculated results were compared with the test results, and the comparison showed that the elastic deformation plays an important role in forming the worn surface profile and that the effect of thermal distortion becomes remarkable with an increase in PV values. The numerical results clarified the contribution of the thermal distortion to the change in the worn surface profile of the composite.

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