A finite element investigation of the deformations, forces, stress formations, and energy lossses in elasto-plastic sliding contacts
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This work presents the results of Finite Element Analyses (FEA) used to simulate sliding contact in two (2D) and three dimensions (3D) between two interfering elasto-plastic bodies. Cylinders are used to model sliding contact in 2D, simplified by the assumption of plane strain. Sliding is studied between two cylinders modeled with material properties of steel, and separately with a Glidcop cylinder sliding over an Al 6061-T651 cylinder. All materials are modeled as elastic-perfectly plastic and follow the von Mises yield criterion. Both frictionless as well as frictional sliding are investigated. The FEA results in trends in the deformation, reaction forces, stresses, and net energy loss as a function of sliding distance. All these results are found to be related to the magnitude of vertical interference. This work shows that for the plastic loading cases of frictionless sliding, the ratio of the vertical force to the horizontal reaction force is not zero at the point where the bodies are perfectly aligned about the vertical axis. This work also presents empirical equations that relate the net energy loss due to sliding under an elasto-plastic deformation as a function of the sliding distance. In addition, a load ratio of the horizontal reaction force to the vertical one is defined for frictionless sliding. Although this is analogous to the common definition of the coefficient of friction between sliding surfaces, it just contains the effect of energy loss in plasticity. The contact dimensions are obtained for different vertical interferences as sliding progresses. Comparisons are drawn between the FEA results of frictional and frictionless sliding. 3D modeling has been initiated to yield similar result parameters.