Rolling contact fatigue is a problem encountered with many machine elements. In the current report a numerical study has been performed in order to predict the crack path and crack propagation cycles of a surface initiated rolling contact fatigue crack.
The implementation of the contact problem is based on the asperity point load mechanism for rolling contact fatigue. The practical studied problem is gear contact. Different loading types and models are studied and compared to an experimental spall profile. Good agreement has been observed considering short crack lengths with a distributed loading model using normal loads on the asperity and for the cylindrical contact and a tangential load on the asperity.
Several different crack propagation criteria have been implemented in order to verify the validity of the dominant mode I crack propagation assumption. Some general characteristics of rolling contact fatigue cracks have been highlighted. A quantitative parameter study of the implemented model has been performed.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Hannes, Dave