Contact fatigue by the numbers

By Website Administrator | Dec 1, 2008

Kettering's Dr. Ilya Kudish is one of 18 of the world's leading authorities on rolling contact fatigue. He and his colleagues met in Lyon, France, this year to try to mathematically unravel contact fatigue.

Kettering’s Dr. Ilya Kudish is one of 18 of the world’s leading authorities on rolling contact fatigue. He and his colleagues met in Lyon, France, this year to try to mathematically unravel contact fatigue.

Despite technological improvements in manufacturing processes, rolling contact fatigue is still an issue for gears, bearings, and other parts involved in frequent motion. Contact fatigue, or pitting, exacerbates defects and cracks in metal. It is caused by inherent material defects and repeated stresses occurring in material.

Dr. Ilya Kudish, professor of Mathematics at Kettering University, is working with 17 other experts to identify research models to solve the physical problems associated with rolling contact fatigue.

Kudish spent two days in August inLyonat a symposium at the Institute Nationale des Sciences Appliquees, exchanging research results and ideas with other researches. His trip was funded by the office of Kettering Provost Dr. Michael Harris.

“It was a very useful meeting,” Kudish said, “usually at a conference you have 25 minutes for a presentation and questions. At the meeting in Lyon we had as much time as we wished for our individual presentations, questions, and discussion” he said. Kudish presented his research on statistical fracture mechanics and contact fatigue modeling.

This open exchange was the foundation for development of a common program of research for the participants. “We hope this collaboration will result in a tangible solution of how we can model rolling contact fatigue,” said Kudish.

Recent mathematical modeling has enabled researchers to calculate the pressure distribution between contacting surfaces under rolling or rolling/sliding conditions with Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluids in sever conditions. This allows for evaluation of the stress fields within the contact materials, but does not correlate the stress field to a fatigue life evaluation. The fatigue models presented at the Lyon meeting aimed to bridge this gap.

Of the group that met in Lyon, most were from Europe with a few from Asia and the U.S., according to Kudish. He said symposium participants would like to seek funding for their research and develop a web site to facilitate an exchange of ideas, direct work and establish informal collaborative groups.

“It was an honor to be recognized as an expert of international stature,” Kudish said of symposium, “and to collaborate with such a dedicated group of people.”

Written by Dawn Hibbard
810.762.9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu