This study investigates the effects of the microdimple texture on the friction and surface temperature performances of a ball-on-disk contact, operating under the speed and load ranges that cover typical gearing applications. Circular-shaped microdimple arrays with different dimple center distances and dimple depths are implemented on the ball surface to quantify the impacts of these two parameters on the friction coefficient and the maximum ball surface temperature. In addition, the contacts of three surface texture combinations, namely microdimpled and polished ball surface versus polished disk surface, polished ball surface versus polished disk surface, and ground ball surface versus ground disk surface, are compared to demonstrate any beneficial or detrimental effect of microdimples in heavily loaded high-speed applications. This study adopts a thermal mixed EHL point contact model, whose capability and accuracy have been well demonstrated by comparing to the experimental measurements, to quantify the deterministic tribological behavior within the contact, allowing the exploration of the underlying mechanism that governs the role of microdimples in the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL).

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