Contamination of bearing interfaces and sliding contacts in mechanical tribosystems

Contamination of sliding contacts and bearing interfaces can cause machine elements to undergo catastrophic failure. Oftentimes, the failure is due to particulate or wear debris contamination when interfaces are not designed to be robust against contamination. The PFTL employs experiments and/or modeling studies to understand systems that undergo particle contamination. The particle & fluid-structure interaction computational simulation below shows a bearing surface deformed by a transient fluid pressure along with its performance under particle contamination.
Debris Generation for a Single Aluminum Granule in Sliding contact
PFTL Research Assistant(s):   Jeremiah N. Mpagazehe; Prathamesh Desai
Method(s) Employed:   Computational EHL, mixed lubrication, particle dynamics
Rig(s) and/or Software(s) Employed:    
Sponsor(s):   NASA GSRP Fellowship, Sloan PhD Fellowship; NSF CAREER

Sample Results:

In-House, Numerical Modeling of Elastohydrodynamic LubricationPhenomena with Particulate Contamination

Select PFTL References:

Terrell, E. and Higgs III, C.F., "A Simulation of Contaminates Around the Solid Immersion Lens in a Near Field Optical Recording System", IEEE Trans. Magnetics, 43, 6, 2007.

Mpagazehe, J., "A Physics-based, Eulerian-Lagrangian Computational Modeling Framework to Predict Particle Flow and Tribological Phenomena", Ph.D. Thesis, CMU, 2013.