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Computational Thermal Sciences: An International Journal
ESCI SJR: 0.249 SNIP: 0.434 CiteScore™: 0.7

ISSN Print: 1940-2503
ISSN Online: 1940-2554

Computational Thermal Sciences: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/ComputThermalScien.2013006347
pages 195-213

A COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS STUDY OF ELASTOHYDRODYNAMIC LUBRICATION LINE CONTACT PROBLEM WITH CONSIDERATION OF SURFACE ROUGHNESS

Sutthinan Srirattayawong
Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom
S. Gao
Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT

Traditionally, the Reynolds equation is widely used to describe the flow of lubricants for the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) problem, though there are a number of limitations for this approach. In this work an advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been developed for such EHL problem. The CFD model developed can predict the characteristics of fluid flow in the EHL problem, taking into consideration the pressure distribution, minimal film thickness, viscosity, and density changes. The cylinder is considered to be an elastic deformation which is a function of the generated pressure and the elasticity of the material. Above all, the surface of the cylinder is defined to have an arbitrary roughness, though only the cases with moderate roughness are reported in this paper. Reconstructing the object geometry, meshing and calculation of the conservation of mass and momentum equations are carried out by using the commercial software packages ICEMCFD and ANSYS Fluent. In addition, the user-defined functions for density, viscosity, and elastic deformation of the cylinder as the function of pressure need to be defined for this particular work. A number of simulation cases have been investigated, and detailed results of velocity, pressure distribution, and film thickness are obtained. In particular, the effects of surface roughness on the EHL line contact problem are compared to the smooth surface case when the applied load is varied. It is found that the pressure profile at the center of the contact area directly relates to the roughness amplitude and the applied load. The surface roughness influences the fluctuated shape of pressure distribution. The pressure and the effect of surface roughness increase when the applied load is increased.


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