This work presents a finite element study of elasto-plastic hemispherical contact. The results are normalized such that they are valid for macro contacts (e.g., rolling element bearings) and micro contacts (e.g., asperity contact), although micro-scale surface characteristics such as grain boundaries are not considered. The material is modeled as elastic-perfectly plastic. The numerical results are compared to other existing models of spherical contact, including the fully plastic truncation model (often attributed to Abbott and Firestone) and the perfectly elastic case (known as the Hertz contact). This work finds that the fully plastic average contact pressure, or hardness, commonly approximated to be a constant factor of about three times the yield strength, actually varies with the deformed contact geometry, which in turn is dependent upon the material properties (e.g., yield strength). The current work expands on previous works by including these effects and explaining them theoretically. Experimental and analytical results have also been shown to compare well with the current work. The results are fit by empirical formulations for a wide range of interferences (displacements which cause normal contact between the sphere and rigid flat) and materials for use in other applications.
A Finite Element Study of Elasto-Plastic Hemispherical Contact Against a Rigid Flat
Contributed by the Tribology Division for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received by the Tribology Division April 29, 2004; revised manuscript received September 8, 2004. Review conducted by: J. Tichy.
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Jackson, R. L., and Green, I. (April 7, 2005). "A Finite Element Study of Elasto-Plastic Hemispherical Contact Against a Rigid Flat ." ASME. J. Tribol. April 2005; 127(2): 343–354. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1866166
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