This work developed a macro-microscopic coupled simulation method for fretting fatigue simulations. The crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) mode was used to predict the hotspot of crack nucleation in fretting fatigue loading. Our model has considered the microstructure features of metals, such as the grain size, grain orientations and dislocation slips, in the fretting fatigue simulations, most of which have been ignored in previous work. And the submodel approach has been adopted in our work to overcome the size limitation and minimize the effect of boundary constrains. After calibration of material parameters, the model has been validated by the Hertz’s analytic solution based on the contact mechanics. From the results of CPFE simulations, we can accurately identify the hotspot of crack nucleation in fretting fatigue loading based on the local the equivalent plastic strain. The global model-submodel coupling method proposed in this work provides a solution for prediction of crack initiation and the crack initiation life of fretting fatigue in metals.

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