Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A study of rolling contact fatigue cracks in lubricated contacts
Author: Balcombe, Robbie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 0941
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
A novel method for coupling fluid pressure and crack deformation for the purpose of analysing rolling contact fatigue (RCF) cracks in lubricated, hydrodynamic and elastohydrodynamic, contacts is presented. The model addresses some of the simplifying assumptions applied to existing models presented in the literature such as: (i) using an imposed fluid pressure gradient inside the crack, (ii) using an imposed fluid pressure at the crack mouth, and (iii) adopting a surface contact pressure, Hertzian or EHL, that does not account for the fluid flow in and out of the crack during loading. The model has been used to model the effect of lubricant/crack interaction in various RCF configurations as the rolling element passes over the pre-formed crack; which has direct application to bearings and rail/wheel contacts. The results of the simulations performed with the fully-coupled fluid/solid solver developed by the author suggest that the cracked component/lubricant interaction contributes significantly to accelerate the rate of surface breaking crack growth in rolling element bearings and wheel/rail type contacts. It is shown through simulations that the lubricant works as a catalyst inside the crack to convert the compressive contact load into a crack opening, tensile fatigue mechanism, through the effect of fluid pressurisation inside the crack. The results obtained using such a model suggest that the opening associated with the fluid action within the crack induces large mode I stress intensity factors. This has been shown to be the principal factor that promotes and influences the rate of rolling contact fatigue crack growth in lubricated contacts. In addition to the modelling work, an experimental method of analysing RCF cracks in real time has been developed. The technique is based on laser induced fluorescence that allows the penetration of the fluid within the crack to be observed. Though the method would require development to be used to provide results that could be used for quantitative comparisons with crack models, some encouraging preliminary results have been obtained: the technique has been shown to be suitable for measuring, at least qualitatively, the real time evolution of the film thickness in RCF cracks.
Supervisor: Dini, Daniele ; Olver, Andrew Sponsor: SKF (Firm)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral