This research explores the influence of distributed non-overlapping inhomogeneities on the contact properties of a material. Considered here is the half-space Hertzian contact of a sphere with an inhomogeneous material. The numerical analysis is conducted utilizing a simplified model based on Eshelby’s Equivalent Inclusion Method (EIM) and the principle of superposition. The solutions take into account interactions between all inhomogeneities. Benchmark comparisons with the results obtained with the finite element method (FEM) demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed solution methods. The emphasis is given to a parametric study of the effect of inhomogeneities in a Gaussian distribution on material properties. Both compliant and stiff inhomogeneities are modeled. Material inhomogeneities strongly affect rolling contact fatigue (RCF) of a material, and a modified RCF life model is suggested. Homogenization and extensive numerical simulations result in semi-empirical fatigue-life reduction parameters to characterize the influence of material inhomogeneities.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.